Great people say that with age comes wisdom. Well, this may or may not be true. But, as I turn 38, I can attest that there are many life lessons that I’ve learnt over time and experience. Almost four decades of life, I have taken on many roles — a business woman, a small business coach, mother…
And I would like to share 11 life lessons that I learnt on the way, which have shaped the person I am today. These are also things I wish my younger self should’ve known.
38 Years of Being a Human: 10 Life Lessons To Share
Time is free but priceless
What’s one thing that both you and the richest person in the world has equally? Time. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. And what really makes the difference is how you manage time.
It’s easy to go with the flow of the daily routine we have, not acknowledging the passing time and what we can do with it. Once you break free from this routine and decide to make the most of your time, that’s when you start achieving your goals.
Honest communication is crucial for both interpersonal and work relationship
We have been brought up to be polite and humble, which are good virtues indeed. But when it comes to relationships — both work and interpersonal — communicating openly is very essential. Candid communication is such an under-rated value.
Learning to put yourself first
As young girls, we are trained and taught to serve others and never put ourselves first. And somehow, this trait gets imbibed in us as we grow. But for me, I later realised that putting myself second and neglecting my well being not only affects me, but also affects those around me negatively.
There is nothing wrong in taking care of yourself because nobody else will do that for you. Realising that self-care is crucial in order to serve others happily was a turning point for me, especially as a mother.
If you want to know more about managing your time, read my guide on how to be productive as a work from home mother.
Work-life balance is a myth
There might be people out there who brings a balance between their work and personal life which I may not know of. But in my experience, achieving a perfect work-life balance is just a myth.
Of course, you can have a full-fledged career while raising a family as well. But expecting that both these aspects do not clash is impossible. Let me explain.
If you’re a person who has a career life and a family as well, there are two things you should channel your energy towards. You’re dividing your time and energy between two entirely different elements. You are constantly thinking about both these things and will be concerned if you’re dedicating enough time for each or not.
As for me, to take work and personal life forward, I needed to make a few adjustments. Some of them include hiring paid help for different business tasks and at home.
Financial independence is important as a woman
This is perhaps the biggest life lesson for me. Even if you’re happy being dependent on the man in your life, there is a chance that somewhere down the line that you feel incomplete and unsatisfied.
Being financially independent is a different feeling of freedom. If you earn money, you can make a lot of difference — in your life, in your loved ones’ lives, and in the world at large.
As a woman, you feel more powerful and confident when you’re financially independent and will gain more respect. It also means that you will gain more knowledge and wisdom — which are also elements of power.
If you’re still contemplating on whether of not to take the first step to becoming financially independent, think about what can be different if you had your own money — all the things you wish to buy, places you wish to go, contributing to family expenses etc.
For the past few years, I’ve been teaching women to grow their own art business and become financially independent. Follow me on Instagram to learn about marketing your art business online.
Here’s a resource to help you make money with your art skills. Financial management for small business is a rather important topic. It will make or break your business.
You cannot do it all
Being a supermom is just fiction. You or anyone around you can’t expect you to become a pro at everything. Such false expectations will lead to burnout and eventual dislike for what you do.
As adults, multi-tasking is inevitable. And we are obliged to give our best shot at whatever we do. But trying to make everything perfect will do more harm than good. So, accepting the fact that not all things are not within our control will give you more peace of mind.
Setting boundaries is crucial for inner peace
Speaking of peace of mind, here’s another life lesson I learnt about it.
You don’t have to indulge in anything and everything around you. We often tend to forget that saying no is also an option. As women, we are taught to put everyone else’s needs before our’s. That’s why setting boundaries is important.
What are boundaries? Boundaries are a way to take care of ourselves. It establishes what people can expect from you and what you expect from people regarding matters related to you.
You should also set boundaries with yourself. For example, if it will lead to a burn ot, decide not to pick up a project with a tight deadline. Set yourself a limit for work and a fixed number of hours you work daily. And log off from work completely after your work hours are over.
‘Take it or leave it attitude’ won’t help a business grow
Many small business owners go into sales conversations with a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude which is a recipe for disaster. Whatever product/service we are selling, we should always go into conversations with prospects with a service mentality.
People can smell rudeness from a mile away and they always remember how you, as a business owner, made them feel. Even if they bought them from you now, they may never return to you again if they weren’t happy with the way they were treated.
Customer isn’t always the king
Or let me put it this way — customer is king, but the king isn’t always right.
Just because a customer thinks that your product is overpriced doesn’t mean it is and you shouldn’t be ready to reduce your prices at the whims of customers. Others do not know the amount of effort and skills that goes into running a business.
Always be open to learning and have the willingness to change
Having strong core values is indeed necessary for a person to thrive. But the willingness to learn, unlearn, and evolve is equally necessary.
This is the only way to ensure growth and stability for years to come — in terms of career and personal life.
In terms of learning, you can upskill yourself or even pick up a new skill. Constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone.