2018 has come and gone, and what a year it’s been! I have to force myself to sit back and reflect; I know it’s something I need to work on but I’m someone who is always looking forwards and thinking about “what’s next?”. But as we’re getting ready to welcome in the new year, here’s my reflections on what 2018 has had to offer.
So what have the highlights been?
- Stephenson Law has more than doubled in size and I’ve got the most amazing team I could wish for.
- We were accepted onto Natwest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme and joined a fantastic community of entrepreneurs.
- I was invited to visit 10 Downing Street with a group of entrepreneurs to discuss issues effecting small businesses.
- I was shortlisted for “Service Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
- I’ve been featured in the Sunday Times and the Bristol Post.
- Our team completed a 10 mile Tough Mudder.
- We’ve taken on some amazing clients and done some really exciting work, including multi-million pound IT contracts, investments deals and loan agreements.
There’s been just as much progress from a personal perspective. My approach to health and fitness has been completely transformed. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol, cleaned up my diet and train several times a week and, as a result, feel so much better able to deal with the challenges that running a business throws at me.
I’m a huge advocate of experiential learning. Nothing can prepare you for starting and running your own business; you can read countless books and even get a degree in entrepreneurship, but it’s only through doing it that you really learn. 2018 will probably always be the year I learned the most.
Being out of my comfort zone has become the norm, and I’ve gradually become more comfortable with this. I’m constantly faced with new challenges that I’ve got to find solutions to and I’ve got better at dealing with this. Running the business has been all-consuming and I’ve never worked so hard; I’ve had little time for anything else. The pressure of being solely responsible for making difficult decisions and dealing with constant uncertainty can be overwhelming, but my emotional strength has grown to enable me to manage this.
I’ve got a long way to go and a lot to learn, but for the first time in my life I feel like I’m on the right path and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. With the help of my fantastic team and support network (which I’m incredibly grateful for) I’ve made some pretty good tracks this year, and when I look back I can see how far I’ve come and allow myself to feel proud. I’ve got ambitious plans for 2019, so watch this space!