The top 14 lessons we learned in 2021
2021 was a year full of challenges and growth opportunities for our female, minority-owned creative agency. It was a fantastic journey, both professionally and personally. We overcame obstacles, added new members, and welcomed new clients as a team. 2021 also marked when Creative Juice officially reached a million dollars in revenue! It has been an exciting year! But this past year hasn’t just been about business. We’ve learned plenty of other things, too. Take a look at some of the most important lessons we’ve learned in 2021 that we’re taking into the new year.
- Be true to yourself. Staying true to your values despite obstacles is one of the most important lessons we’ve learned this year. As a female, minority-owned creative agency, one of our biggest challenges was to hire more diverse talent. We have made an effort to do that, and we are excited about the future of our team!
- Listen to your customers. Our customers have a lot to say! And we love hearing from them. We respect client feedback and consider it when creating new campaigns and ideas. Our customers are the heart of our business. Because of them, Creative Juice has been able to grow this year. We will always value our customers’ voices and do our best to provide a great Creative Juice experience.
- Trouble doesn’t always last. Sometimes, things can seem very bleak, but it always helps to remember that you can pull through. Sure, mistakes happen and bad things can come along every now and again. But good things will come your way too – you just have to wait for them. Work hard, stay optimistic, and don’t worry – success is right around the corner. There are times when you feel like you can’t handle it anymore. But, keep in mind that everyone has bad times in their lives. The main thing is not to lose hope. Many people are in the same situation as you, and they went through what you’re going through now, and they made it out on top. You have to be strong and don’t give up because you never know what might happen next.
- It’s ok to rely on the support of others when you need to. If you’re a real go-getter, you might have a hard time asking others for help. Being self-sufficient and independent are great qualities to nurture, but sometimes it’s better to just let someone else do the work. Here are some suggestions you can try:
Treat yourself: Take a break, go out to eat, see a movie — whatever makes you feel good about yourself. It’s ok to rely on the support of others when you need to.
Connect with people: Even though you might be embarrassed about your current situation, it helps to talk about it with people who care about you. Knowing that someone is there for you can make an enormous difference in how well you cope with what’s going on in your life.
Ask for help: If you’re struggling to handle something on your own, ask for help from people who love and care about you. You’ll be glad that you did!
- Make self-care a priority. You don’t have to be a self-help guru to know that self-care is essential. You probably already do some things that keep your mind and body healthy — eating right, exercising, managing stress, getting enough sleep.
But what about all the other things that make you feel good — like getting a manicure or pedicure, going out for dessert, or wearing your favorite outfit? These little luxuries can bring you joy, relief, and peace of mind. Research shows that self-care is good for your health, and it can help you lower stress levels and live longer. So schedule a little “me time” in your day or week — just for you — and stick to it. You’ll be glad you did!
- Be ready to pivot when needed. In a creative environment, things move and change at the speed of lightning. Please don’t get stuck on one thing because it could change in an instance.
- Do what makes you happy. Forget the rest. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. That might be true (and a tad cliche), but work can make you happy – so long as it’s something that you’re passionate about. There’s a big difference between doing something because you love it and doing it because you think that’s what you “should” be doing. Whether it’s work, a hobby, or something in between, spend your time doing things that truly bring you joy. It’s your path. Don’t let anyone else dictate your life -– only you can do that!
- Work smart, not hard. We all want to do more faster, but it doesn’t always happen like that in an agency setting or an intimate environment, for that matter. Working smarter means you’re getting more done in less time without sacrificing quality or responsiveness to your clients or customers.
- Surround yourself with good people. When working with a company, your greatest asset is your team. Surround yourself with amazing people that help each other grow. Our team includes creatives, marketing strategists, account executives, operations, and finance experts at Creative Juice. Our team supports each other’s growth and success. Our team works well together because we trust and respect one another. Trust and respect are critical in any relationship, and business is no different.
- There is no such thing as “done.” It is always “next.” “Done” is not permanent (no matter how permanent it sounds). There’s always something new waiting right around the corner!
Even after you think you’ve reached “done”, it’s still possible to improve upon it. You can grow bored with the result and seek more complexity or improve it by adding additional features.”Next” is the concept of then what? Or better yet, now what? What step(s) should I take after I reach ‘done’? What happens next? Can I improve upon the original idea or outcome that got me done? If you always think about what’s next, you’ll continue to move forward. Press on and don’t be afraid to reach new heights!
- Never stop learning and teaching others what you’ve learned. Educating yourself is a lifelong process. The more you know, the more you can teach others. There are many opportunities for you to learn new skills. You can learn from your peers, the Internet, and even your competitors. Being a student is a lifelong endeavor that will help you grow personally and professionally. Set goals for yourself and achieve them. Learn how to set goals, set priorities, and achieve them. Never stop learning.
All of us have the opportunity to learn something every single day. Whether we choose to take advantage of that opportunity is up to us. If we don’t want to make an effort to learn something, then it shows us that we are not in control of our lives and our goals are not important enough for us to achieve. When you choose to get better at what you do, it will change your life for the better.
- Don’t be afraid of failure; it’s how you grow and learn from your mistakes. Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial when working toward your goals. It’s important to understand that you’re taking a step closer to your destination every time you push forward and try something new. Even if it doesn’t go as planned, you’ll learn valuable information that will help you in the future.
Try not to think of failure as the end of your journey; instead, think of it as a learning experience. It’s much better to fail and learn from it than never to try at all. Remember that even the most successful people have forgotten before — how they got where they are now. You may also be surprised by how many people support you on your journey. People who care about you will be happy with the fact that you’re trying, even if you fail right away.
- Give without expecting anything in return. It’s more fulfilling that way! There is no better gift than the gift of giving. It’s good for you, and it’s also good for your community. Giving makes us feel good. It makes us feel needed and loved, connects us to our fellow man, and helps us be more positive in life. Giving can help you become a better person and make you a happier person. Few things are as rewarding as the feeling you get when helping someone else with a problem or need.
What makes someone a good giver? A good giver doesn’t expect anything in return. They give because they have something to offer and not because they want to get something back. The gift comes back to you tenfold when you give freely and cheerfully! Giving is an integral part of being a human being. In some ways, we’re all beggars, and we’re all givers too. We all ask people for favors, money, or help at one time or another, even if we don’t always admit it to ourselves or others. If we’re not giving, then we’re taking from someone else.
- Be flexible with your goals. Sometimes it may be necessary to change or delay your goals. The timing could be off. There could also be other priorities that you should focus on before you decide to pursue your goals.
It has been a fantastic year full of challenges and growth opportunities. We’ve certainly learned a lot, but what about you? As 2021 comes to a close, we’re excited to take these lessons with us in our careers and in life.
We’re thankful and grateful for the experiences and knowledge that we’ve gained during the previous twelve months. More importantly, we are thankful for the people who have worked with us this past year and connected with us. With these lessons in hand, we hope that 2022 will be even more productive and successful than 2021! 🍑