January 10, 2014

I have worked for enough companies and been apart of enough strategy meetings to know what a strategic plan should look like. But when it comes to our own businesses, we get to be a little more, shall I say, creative with our strategic plans. I actually have a pretty solid list of goals and plans for this year. But when it really comes down to it, it all boils down to this: my strategic plan for 2014 is to be more uncomfortable.

You see, I am not a gambler nor a risk taker. I am not spontaneous. It's just not in my nature. I hyper analyze almost every situation and determine the probability of success. Low probability, I don't do it. High probability, I consider it. I map out best and worst case scenarios and look for alternative options. I know, it's not a very exciting way to live life. Imagine getting me to pick a restaurant for dinner! πŸ˜‰

But it's served me well in most of my life choices and experiences. I have worked my ass off to get to where I am today and I have made determined choices that led to successful results. Of course, as with anything in life, there have been ups and downs and bumps in the road. But it's always been some variation of a positive, uphill road with more and more rewards.

Then I took an uncalculated risk and started Jenn's Trends almost exactly a year ago. To be fair, it wasn't a BIG risk. I didn't invest any money and there really wasn't anything on the line. But it was a spontaneous and unresearched venture for me. And, boy, has it paid off!

On top of that, I did a lot of things along the way this past year that really tested my comfort zone. I said yes to things that made me nervous. I participated in things where I didn't know if I would be "successful". I tried new things that I had never done before.

And you know what? Every single one of those things paid off for me in growing my business!

I have achieved more views and shares on my blog than I would have imagined possible. I have met soooo many amazing people who I can genuinely call friends. I have experienced business lessons that you only learn when you do it yourself. I have been surrounded with advocates and a support system stronger than anything I ever imagined. And I published a book!

Seriously, the girl who never considered herself a writer has been nominated as a top social media blog for 2013 and I have a book available on Amazon. I still pinch myself every morning!

I don't think there's any "traditional" path to describe how fast I should have accomplished the things I have. Or to predict how quickly the next stages should develop. And I'm glad there isn't. If someone had told me, "You should have 10,000 blog views by this date" or "You should have your first paying client within so many months" or "It takes everyone this long to achieve that", I don't think I would have enjoyed this journey as much as I have.

Having looked back over all the experiences I had last year, I realized that almost all of the successes came when I stepped outside my comfort zone. When I reached out and tried something new. Or even when I straight up admitted I didn't know how to do something but was supported by amazing people who showed me how to do it.

So, my comfort zone is going to get pretty lonely in 2014! I am looking forward to an amazing year and amazing growth. I am looking forward to trying more new things, learning new things, doing things that make me (a little) nervous, and enjoying being a little more spontaneous too! That is my strategic plan for 2014.

As my fellow tiara-wearing friend, Mia Voss said on Google+, this is the #YearOfTheKickAss!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Happy New Year.
    Thanks Jenn for this article. I came across you a few months back and am an avid reader of your blogs. You are an inspiration to us who have taken the leap of faith to set up on our own and I find your posts invaluable. I never liked the phrase ‘feel the fear’ but I am definitely embracing the need to ‘feel uncomfortable’ which will (hopefully) reap benefits in the end.

    1. Hi Billie! Thank you so much for your support! I am honored to have you as a reader and am happy that my blogs help you grow your business.
      I agree with you, I never liked the “feel the fear” type phrases. I don’t like being afraid or scared. But pushing the limits of the comfort zone is a lot easier for me πŸ™‚
      I wish the best of luck and tons of success in 2014!

  2. Good for you Jen and may your lonely comfort zone discover it is not alone! Lots of good luck wishes for wherever you find yourself this year.

  3. Congratulations on all you have accomplished ~ but I know, and you know, this is just the beginning. It is definitely exciting to venture into the unknown (writing my own blog was that for me), but as you found out, those kinds of things can turn out to be the best things you have ever done. And not knowing or being able to predict the outcome means you have the freedom to just go for it! Bring on 2014!!

    1. Thanks Kim! You are one of the amazing friendships and supporters that I’m honored to have in my world.
      The ability to write our futures and the freedom to explore where we want to go is such an amazing opportunity! I look forward to all the great things that 2014 has in store for both of us this year πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks Jenn! I count you as one of the best friendships I have made online for sure! I have so much enjoyed your articles and your comments (it doesn’t hurt that you have a wicked sense of humor either!).

  4. Hello Jenn,
    Happy new year to you and your family. This is my first visit to your blog and I came in via bizsugar. And after going through this post, I was also forced to leave this comment because of how thoughtful you are.

    You see, we are the captains of our sheep and, we are the only one that will decide which direction to go. I love your braveness and courage and with such a mindset, the sky will certainly be your starting point.

    In order to achieve something extra-ordinary, you have to do something extra-ordinary too. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and do the unimaginable then, success will be inevitable.

    I don’t really have much to say Jenn, I just want to wish you good luck and, more strength to your elbows. Keep it up.

    I will be sure to visit again :). Wishing you and your family a prosperous and fulfilled 2014.


    1. Hi Theodore! Thank you so much for your kind words! πŸ™‚
      I am so glad you found this post and stopped by to read it, and to say hi. I hope that you will come back again and read some of my other posts as well.
      I am looking forward to another great year. Motivation from kind people like you is just one more way I am inspired to succeed. Happy new year to you and your family. I wish you all the best this year!

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