Celebrating Our Successes and Learning From Our Mistakes

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At the last Thrive Meetup of 2020, I facilitated an interactive workshop ‘Looking Back to Look Forwards’ during which I invited everyone to reflect on their achievements from the past 12 months, along with their greatest lessons learnt. We also created ‘Our Wall of Intentions’ at the end of the Meetup, capturing one action we committed to take in order to move closer to our goals. 

When I was preparing for this workshop, I found the reflective exercise really motivating, as it enabled me to recognise my successes (which I then had the chance to celebrate in public, whilst also encouraging others to do the same). I also found the exercise very insightful, as I believe our biggest lessons in business come from the mistakes we make. And the more we share our mistakes made, the more informed our decisions become.

If you missed this particular Thrive Meetup, and would like to take some time to reflect on your progress in 2020, I thought I would share with you my achievements as well as my lessons learnt, in the hope that you then do the same for your business. 

Feel free to share with me your achievements and lessons learnt! Here are mine:

My achievements of 2020:

1. Like many founders, transferring all my Thrive activities online. I had no idea how to use Zoom 12 months ago, and would never have imagined that I would be confidently hosting all my events and support initiatives on Zoom.

2. Co-hosting RE-DEFINED - a virtual conference celebrating female founders, in partnership with Karen Stenning of Absolute Alchemy. Having never attended a virtual conference in my life (!), I can’t quite believe that I successfully managed to host an ambitious online event featuring a keynote talk, a fireside chat, four interactive workshops and a panel discussion.

3. Pivoting Thrive - moving away from a membership-based organisation to become a social enterprise specialising in the delivery of entrepreneurship support for female founders.

4. Innovating my Huddles - confidential, action learning sets for small groups of female founders.

And my lessons learnt from 2020:

1. Innovate and protect my intellectual property. As a service-based business, one of the key ways to differentiate from competitors is to innovate, and where possible, create and protect my intellectual property. (I am now the owner of two registered trade marks - more about that over the next couple of months).

2. Listen to my gut. My gut seems to be pretty good at working out when a new initiative is going to work out or not. I have learnt to listen to my gut early on when I am in the process of exploring new ideas or opportunities to collaborate with others.

3. Reflect on all that I do. Over the last few months, I have started to write down what I feel has gone well, and not so well, from the events and workshops I deliver. As part of this reflective exercise, I also identify what action I need to take to improve things the next time round.

4. Regularly ask the Thrive community for feedback. Hatch generously sponsored five Thrive workshops between October 2020 and January 2021, and as part of the sponsorship agreement with them, I had to collect feedback from the workshop attendees. This has been really good practice which I continue to follow once the workshop series is over. In addition, in June 2020, I sent a survey to the Thrive community to ask them what they liked about Thrive and what I could improve. The responses from that survey were really insightful and helped inform my pivot to become a business support provider.

5. Don’t undervalue myself. As someone who considers themselves a social entrepreneur and educator who wants to make their service accessible, I am constantly undervaluing myself. In response to this, over the past 12 months, I have worked on my pricing strategy and have introduced a new pricing structure which works for me commercially as well as ethically.

So, now you have heard about my successes and lessons learnt from 2020, what have been your greatest achievements from 2020, and your biggest lessons in business? Feel free to share them with me!