3 Biggest Lessons Learned in 2023

Wow! What an incredible year 2023 has been. I’m so excited to share with you in this episode the 3 biggest lessons learned about business and life. Tune in to reflect and goal map on a HIGH note! Cheers to an even more abundant and adventurous 2024!

Yearly reflections are important for both our business and our personal mindset not only so that we can know how to prepare for the year ahead, but to celebrate our wins and truly honor how far we have come throughout the year. 2023 has been full of learnings and I want to share them with you!

Prefer To Read? Here’s The Blog Version…

The Importance Of Reflecting

Welcome to the last episode of 2023. What an incredible year. This has been, I want you to take a moment and just reflect on where you were the 1st of January, 2023 and where you are now.

Have things changed? Have you changed? And what are your values and goals going into 2024? We are going to be taking this episode to reflect on the biggest lessons that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur in this past year. And I want to share them with you because I want you to be able to take all of these lessons and put them into practice so that you can enter 2024 on a really high note. 

When I reflect back to January 1st, 2023, I was in Indonesia. I was surfing every day and I really had no plan for the rest of the year. I knew that my best friend was getting married in Mexico in March and we had to go back for that. But little did I know I would be getting engaged in Austria and then getting married in England and going from girlfriend to wife in a matter of months.

Focus On The ‘What’ And The How Will Reveal Itself 

So that brings me to the first biggest lesson that I really think I internalized and demonstrated this year, which is that anything can happen and we really need to focus on the what as we are planning goals for 2024, focus on the what and the how will reveal itself. So often we talk ourselves out of our goals, out of our ideas because we are operating from our current state of mind and our current reality, right?

So when we set all of these idealistic visions and crazy goals for ourselves, it’s really easy for us to see evidence around us and try to convince ourselves why it wouldn’t work instead of firmly believing that if we just dedicate our intention, the how will reveal itself. If, you had told me in January that we would be fully married planning a wedding within three months. I probably would’ve told you you were crazy, right? Who does that and how is that even possible? Because you know, there’s just so many reasons why that wouldn’t be reality, but instead we made it happen even though we had no idea how it would work out.

And so as we are goal mapping for 2024, keep that in mind. It might seem impossible to you in this moment, but you’re going to learn so many things, meet so many people that are really going to get the wheels turning. And funny story on my vision board for 2023, I wasn’t engaged, but I knew that long-term commitment was something that I wanted to set the intention for. I knew that Ragz was who I wanted as my life partner, who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And so really focusing on that, setting the intention that we would at least get engaged that was on my vision board. And lo and behold, it happened.

2 (5m 1s):

Even though I think in the beginning of the year he was like freaking out ’cause he didn’t know like how to go about getting a ring in Indonesia or while we were traveling and how to ask my parents. And you know, all of those little hurdles we were able to overcome. And so when you are setting goals for your business, your life, know that you can overcome any hurdle in your way as well. The mindset of focusing on what I want without listening to anyone else or listening to any excuses has overall in my life just served me so well. And I have people asking me all the time, what do you do when you have haters or when no one supports what you’re doing or If, you get like nasty comments on Instagram.

I went out to lunch with one of my childhood friends and she asked me, she’s like, do you get mean comments? Do you get people who just don’t understand what you’re doing? And I was like, of course. if you put yourself out there and if you do things out of the ordinary to make yourself happy, you’re going to get people who don’t understand. And whether they come from a place of concern or if they are just trolls on the internet, you’re not gonna make people happy a hundred percent of the time. And there’s no reason for you to have to justify your actions to anyone else in the world. It is your life and If you want something, I encourage you to go after it. This was my mindset when I decided to study abroad twice in college because I just loved traveling.

I graduated early so I could backpack by myself. I started my business while I was living in corporate. I wanted to live in a different country. I wanted to marry someone and travel full time with ’em. All of these things that seemed relatively impossible to other people I had the conversation with, many of them didn’t believe me or didn’t support me or you know, just had their doubts. I never doubted my ability. So If, you are going through the same or people are doubting you. Make sure you do not doubt your ability to do so, to fulfill a dream because I guarantee you have what it takes. You can figure out the resources, but you need to be your own biggest cheerleader.

And if this is something you need to practice in 2024, write it down. Say it out loud. Rehearse affirmations. Get your entire mindset around how possible it is and how deserving you are to be living your dream life. And don’t listen to your own excuses. ’cause If, you are not confident in yourself. It’s gonna be so easy for either that inner mean girl or for someone close to you to talk you out of your dreams. And we’re not about that. 

Treat Other Businesses The Way You Want Your Business To Be Treated

The second biggest lesson that I want to share with you is to treat other businesses the way you want to be treated, the way you want your business to be treated.

And what I mean by this is, as a consumer, you want to be honoring other businesses. You want to be the best consumer you possibly can be because you attract what you are and who you are. So If, you are a business owner and you want better clients, you want better customers. Start by being a better customer or consumer yourself. Don’t take advantage of other businesses. Don’t make it unnecessarily hard for other businesses because when you are acting like an unideal client or an unideal consumer, you kind of subconsciously give reasons while you are running your business that other customers or consumers won’t treat you with integrity or respect.

Does this make sense? I’ll give an example. When I was wedding planning, I was looking for a makeup artist, a photographer, a hairstylist, and I talked to multiple vendors, right? And I chose one that I really aligned with and I honored their full price. I talked to many other people who weren’t vendors or business owners and they were simply complaining. They were like, as soon as you tell someone you are getting married, they charge you like four times the price for the same amount of work. And they were just talking down on all of the vendors in the wedding industry. And I could see that none of them were business owners themselves, right? And as a business owner, I understand that when you are a vendor for a wedding, you can charge a premium, but at the same time it’s more work.

It’s more effort. You have to dedicate the whole day to one person. You can’t just bounce around and have multiple clients. They’re coming to the venue and it their pricing based on what they are giving in terms of not only their labor, but their time, their materials, whatever it is, right? And I come from a place where I’m gonna work with someone who has integrity in their pricing. They’re selling with integrity. They’re not trying to rip me off and I’m going to pay their full price and tip them above and beyond because I respect their work and I fully value their work.

And I want to be a really good client. And because I come from this mentality, all of my clients are dream clients. I’m never worried about What If. My consumers take advantage of all of my programs and they rip me off or they don’t pay full price. I know that there are people out there who value my work, who see that I price and charge with integrity. They’re not looking for an easy way out. They’re not looking for discounts. And I know that that’s what level of frequency I am putting out into this world. Does this make sense? And so when I reflect back on those conversations that I had with people who were like, you know what?

The wedding vendors, they’re just taking advantage of you. I can totally see that. If they were to open their own businesses, they’re probably gonna be undercharging because they’re worried about the people who can’t afford them full price or they’re going to be worried about the people who are endlessly haggling and trying to negotiate with them because they don’t see their worth. if you are that type of customer, you’re going to be attracting those customers when you have your own business. So If, you are a business owner. I encourage you to change how you interact with other business owners

This Also Goes For Content Creators…

This goes hand in hand with not only how you are a consumer, a client or a customer, but also how you are a creator of content versus a consumer of content. So nothing monetary, but I notice that a lot of times new creators (see my episode for new creators wanting to monetise here) are scared to show up because of the backlash and the negativity and the criticism that they may get from their audience. And subconsciously, a lot of times this happens when they themselves judge other successful or soon to be successful creators. So for example, if there is a makeup tutorial and the first thought that crosses your mind is like, this is a horrible video.

Like, Ew, who would do that? Then when you put yourself in the shoes of a creator, you’re thinking, oh my god, there’s so many mean people out there because What If, someone comments, Ew, this is horrible. Or something like that, right? So you kind of reflect the audience. And so If, you are a nasty or mean audience, then you think that that’s gonna be the audience for your brand If, you choose to move forward with it, right? So in that same kind of mindset of being a better consumer, just be a better human being. 

Be the best version of whatever it is community that you want to attract. And I guarantee you are going to attract that type. Comment really encouraging thoughts, interact, buy full price support businesses and invest in yourself. Like all of these things are going to trickle down into your business because you are raising the standard for yourself. You’re not letting those negative thoughts like What If, someone comments something nasty. What if people don’t support me. What If people don’t pay full price. I have a feeling if you’re not seeing that there is some kind of reflection to be done within yourself. And doing that reflection could really help you going forward as business owners call in abundance because you attract what you are.

The last example I’m going to share about this is because of how I’ve personally grown as a business owner. So last week I was in Miami and we were doing a bunch of Christmas markets for Anda my ocean inspired jewelry line. And during one of our events for Eco Fest, which is a plastic free event on Miami Beach, we had our tents set up, we had all of our displays, all of our inventory, and someone came up to us and was like, I love your jewelry. They wanted to make a purchase, but the first thing they asked for was a discount and we didn’t have any discounts going on, but they really, really wanted a discount and was like aggressive about it. Like I would like $20 off of this piece.

And we’re like, we can’t do that. And it got to a point where they just wouldn’t take no for an answer. And it got a little heated and uncomfortable and in my head I was like, is this worth it? Like as a consumer, you know, if a business tells you they don’t have any discounts, I would just let it go. And this kind of reminded me of how years ago I was trying to buy salty lux presets. So for those of you not familiar presets are photo filters that you use in Lightroom where you can edit your photos. And I asked her for a discount or a discount code and she was like, no, sorry, I don’t have any. And then I let that go and I purchased ’em at full price. And then it wasn’t until a few months later when I launched my own digital products where I was like, wait, I understand now why you wouldn’t give out discounts?

Because A, it devalues what you put into it and you also put so much time not only into the presets themselves, but learning the ideal balance between all of these different metrics, how to market, how to sell. Like there’s just so much that goes into creating and launching a product. And I respect businesses that price with integrity, right? And I’m gonna honor that full price. So after that, I’ve just never asked for discounts. Like I don’t expect to be given any coupons if they’re not actively promoting it. I just know the work that it takes to be a business owner and I want to be the consumer that’s not always looking for shortcuts or the easiest, cheapest way out.

And then that interaction, because she didn’t offer me a discount, also gave me the confidence in myself as a business owner to not offer them if I don’t have any active promotions, right? You do not need to accommodate for every person that asks for a discount. And I think that’s just so important as a business owner. And also to keep in mind when you are a consumer or a creator. 

You Are Your Only Barrier

The last lesson that I want to share, I shared with many of my coaching clients this year as well as in our live Facebook groups for the Digital Nomad Society and Wanderlover Business Academy, you are often the only person holding yourself back. So many times it’s just you.

You might think it’s the world, you might think it’s your parents or your friends or the industry or the economy, but most of the times I guarantee you, it’s just yourself. I recognize this in myself because I had talked myself out of launching the Digital Nomad Society for months. I had the idea in the beginning of the year, but it didn’t go live until September because I just kept pushing it back and pushing it back to the point where I was like, I’m getting married. Like if I’m not going to launch it this month, it might as well be next year. And I finally overcame my limitations, self-imposed limitations and launched it and gosh, I wish I had done it sooner when I first had the idea.

So If, you are the type of person who has so many ideas and you have great ideas, sit yourself down and plan and execute them. Be a doer instead of just having a ton of great ideas, you will know when your ideas are good enough to be executed on. And oftentimes it’s just you getting in the way. Maybe you are creating a scapegoat for yourself like, ha ha, I always have these ideas and I never execute them and you might make it into something funny, but at the end of the day, you are the only person holding yourself back and you have the power to change that narrative.

If you really wanted to, right? So if you’re getting frustrated with the fact that something’s not launched or something’s not done yet, make a plan and move forward with it because I guarantee you it’s gonna be so much more beneficial, if you just get out there and do it than to continue ideating about it. Continue telling yourself like, oh my God, I have so many of these and they just never get done. You can do it right? So going into 2024, if you have, if you have things on your to-do list that you just know you need a few days of really hard work to just get it done. Schedule out those days, make time for yourself and instead of it just being on your to-do list over and over again. Get it out of the way and it’s going to be, I promise you, probably one of the best things you do for your business. (If you struggle with procrastination, check our the episode with Procrastination Coach Natalia Albinski here.)

Get it out of the way and it’s going to be, I promise you, probably one of the best things you do for your business. Because oftentimes the most important things are the ones you keep until the end. I feel like with each passing year, we just get so much more wiser. We get to reflect on what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, learn from other individuals who really fuel our paths, connect with more and more people. 2023 was an amazing year. It was, I think one of the best years of my life. And honestly, deep down I know that 2024 is going to be even better because it only ever gets better.

Even If, you have no idea how it can, trusting that it will and that the how will manifest itself. I’m sending you all so much love for the end of the year. I hope you enjoy the holiday season and the new year, and I will see you guys in 2024. Woo Thank, you guys so much for being here. Love you all.

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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