Do you often have a realisation or "A Ha!" moment about one of your decisions or actions that should have been obvious all along, but didn't become clear until later? That would be what's called 20/20 hindsight and it is a valuable superpower we all have, if you are proactive enough to focus on the insights and put them into action for next time.
As the year comes to an end, I find it useful to write down the lessons I've learned this year, and how I can use them to be resolute about being a better version of myself in the year ahead in business and in life.
Here's what 2016 taught me:
I am ambitious and like ambitious people. Would you be comfortable saying that out loud? I spent the past couple of years 'toning it down' based on advice of past teachers, family members and colleagues. My A Ha moment started when I was writing my new book called Plenish: Fuel Your Ambition and profiling other successful ambitious people like Karren Brady, Ozwald Boateng and Sweaty Betty founder, Tamara Hill-Norton. These amazing entrepreneurs have achieved great professional success as well as being a positive force on society and on their families.
Ambition has had a negative connotation for so long, particularly when associated with women. It is often associated with financial greed, and for most successful ambitious people, that's just not the main driver. For me, ambition is about having an incredible drive to succeed. When I was working 16-hour days in a juicing kitchen, it wasn't the money from the sale that kept me going, it was the knowledge that when my juices left our kitchen, they were contributing to a person's healthier future.
SAVOUR SUCCESS, KEEP MOVING; NEVER COAST
I turned 39 in 2016 and for the first time in my life started thinking about my age. The prospect of turning 40 opened up a can of doubts that I hadn't experienced before. I asked myself, did I have enough children? Have I been successful enough, travelled enough or done all of the things I wanted to do in my 30's? On the Verge of 30, I had written that I wanted to marry a kind, funny and ambitious guy. That got sorted. I wanted to be a mother. Sorted too. Finally, I wanted to travel the world and start my own healthy business. I'm still sorting those and making steady progress! Most importantly, I am so much more secure in who I am turning 40 than I was turning 30.
INNOVATE OR DIE
One of the most important lessons I've learned in business is to embrace innovation. Humans are designed to want newness; our curiosity propels our desire to discover things we haven't seen before.
I spent my first three years at Plenish running a cold pressed juice company. I always had ambitions to be a global brand that created healthy products (made the hard way because it's the right way) to fuel the ambition of people from multiple touch points. After three years of building a new category in the shops, educating people on why cold pressed and organic juices were better, I couldn't see how I would find the resource and time to launch into other categories and do it to the standard we had done with the Cold Pressed range.
My first toe in the water was to introduce an organic long life Almond Milk into the range. I had a dream of creating a 'better' Milk alternative, one that had no chemicals, stabalisers, sweetners and a significant amount more organic nuts than what was out on the market (the industry average is 2% nuts and Plenish Almond milk is 7%). After nearly 6 months of product development and testing, I pressed the green light on our first batch of products. We launched in January 2016 and in the first three months blew through all of our projections. In hindsight, I can see that rather than detract from our cold pressed juices, bringing an innovative new product to market brought new consumers into the brand. In 2017, I commit to innovation. To creating more products and touchpoints that promise only organic, plant based ingredients that taste delicious and make our clients feel great.
What are your 20/20 hindsight moments from 2016 and what are you committing to doing better in 2017? Let me know @kararosen
For 2017 to be an epic year, it's going to require hard work. Here is a recipe from my new book to power your goals so you can press on and crush it!
Green Juice Recipe - Detox
Fennel is used for liver and detoxification support, so this juice recipe is perfect for clearing out after December's festive season. The aniseed flavor of the fennel is balanced out by the tang of the green apple and kiwi. A great juice for 'the morning after the night before' when you have to act sharp, but are definitely not feeling it.
1½ heads of fennel
1½ green apples, stalk removed, skin on
1½ kiwis, topped and tailed, skin on
2 cups kale