Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 was Hell, but a Blessing

To those that have been following my blog or social media posts, you have seen that my 2014 was a living nightmare both on a personal and professional level. It was a year I lost my little brother, closed down an office I built, and shut down my first product. It was a hellish storm that I had to choose to navigate through or drown in.

As I look back on 2014 and wonder why things happen like it did, I learned that this year has been a blessing and here are the lessons I wanted to share with you:

1. Personally, I found family again.

Being away from home for the past 7+ years, I was focused on work, all I did was work so that I can move up fast. Visiting family occurred once a year (for a max of 1 week) and doing nothing but taking advantage of the fact that my family will “always” be there, it was a cycle on autopilot.

To those that are in the same work mindset as me, I have one thing to say: “Work will always be there, family time is a fading asset.” I can promise that through the worst parts of your life, your family and their support will rejuvenate and heal your soul better than anything you can buy. Take the time to hang out with your family and friends and don't let holidays be the excuse to do it.

2. Professionally, I moved forward.

When you have an idea, it’s your baby and you do not want to give it up. You want to keep going, hoping something big would happen. Sadly, it happens 50% of the time. When I created MeSocial, my gut told me at the beginning of this year to give up on the website product and to move on with a mobile app idea. 6-months and tens of thousands dollars later, I have learned this lesson. To my fellow entrepreneurs, listen to your gut, follow the market trends, and most importantly, learn to let go. It will save you the time and money. And this app? Well, stay tuned for our New Year announcement!

3. Overall, I removed negative, stressful people.

If you have never experienced a loss of a loved one, it is hard to process when others around you go through it. When I told someone that my best friend passed away, he gave me a blank stare and did not say one word. “I’m sorry,” “Keeping you and your family in my prayers,” and “I’m hurting with you” are simple words that have a meaningful impact to those who are grieving. I now have been on both sides and all I can tell you is do not sit in silence. Your real friends (the expected and even the unexpected) will be there for you, keep them and forget the others. At the end of the day, you need people that can stand by you.

In my entire career, I have only fired 3 individuals and they all share 3 common traits: constantly making excuses, ability to not progress, and behaved selfishly. To those that manage a team and to my fellow entrepreneurs, always listen to your gut about people and remove those individuals sooner rather than later. The amount of stress that is removed, surpasses any guilt for letting a “nice” person go. It is your team/company, protect it and drop the dead weight so that you can move forward.

As I look forward to 2015, I am better equipped to take on the next challenges and I have to thank 2014 for it. It was never ideal but what situation ever is? I can never wish for 2014 not to happen, how else would I ever learn about these perspectives? Yes, it sucked. Yes, I grew from it.

I hope my lessons learned help you navigate your storm. Here is to a better New Year!

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