As I reflect back on our year at REfficient, there are so many things to be thankful for on many different levels. It has been a tremendous year full of lessons learned, discovery and growth.
We wanted to share with you some of these achievements, but also what we have learned as a company and some of the insight I’ve gotten as an entrepreneur.
Some Achievements – by the Numbers
Here is a sampling of some of our numbers which we are proud of.
- 10 Canadian provinces/territories where our customers reside and make a difference, as well as
- 24 US states and
- 6 other countries on
- 3 continents
- 1 new website design
- 1 new software platform
- 2 significant awards
- 30+ media articles/interviews
- 1+ million pounds diverted from landfill
- 1 announcement that all Shimple shipments will be carbon offset as of January 1st, 2013
Lessons Learned as a Company
Here are a few of the core lessons we learned this year that have helped us.
- Focus focus focus
There is a lot of opportunity in what we are doing, but that can also be a challenge for focus. Yet if you don’t focus enough, it is hard to get enough traction in one area to be able to move to the next opportunity.
- Learn from your data
Whether you are looking at your Google Analytics data, or crunching numbers manually in spreadsheets, your data and trends can tell you a story. Analyze it often and seek trusted advisers’ feedback.
- Keep persevering – the hard work does pay off
We reached a tipping point back in October. While we received a lot of attention by winning silver at Lion’s Lair, we also believe the tipping point had to do with laying the groundwork for a long period of time.
Lessons Learned as an Entrepreneur
The year 2012 has been a period of tremendous personal and professional growth. I realized more about what was holding me back – and therefore the company, as the founder and driving force behind it. The more I’ve taken on those fears, the more I’ve seen results in my own life and in the company. Here are a few of my most important lessons learned.
- It’s okay to say “I don’t know”
I was afraid for a long time to say “I don’t know” for fear of looking stupid or having other people lose confidence in me if I couldn’t provide them with an answer. Now I see that being authentic about what you know and don’t know, being open to listen to and work with others, and be open and coachable is most important. How can you know everything?
- Overcoming a fear of failing – and publicly at that
I have always been an over-achiever and good at almost anything I do, so the fact that I might fail at something is scary. Yet as entrepreneur, you have to be open to failing at things, both small and potentially big. And potentially publicly. But you cannot go for big things if you play small and safe.
- Positioning our big vision
I was afraid to say that we could achieve something really big because I made it a matter of integrity. What if I say I can do this and then cannot? I would be breaking my word. I see now that it is a game – one big hairy audacious game that I love to play every day and that we can make a huge difference with, even if we just move the needle.
With the new year and a number of changes being rolled out, this talksustainability.com blog will change as well. Stay tuned for more details.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season. And a rockstar year ahead.