Insights from the Modern Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Nine10 Business Coffee desk

2021 was quite a year!  What a time for business owners and entrepreneurs as we learned to pivot and navigate things like never before. I am sure, like me, you learned a lot about yourself and your business as you adjusted to this new world. I learned a lot over this past year, and what I’ve loved most about my side hustle is as it grows, I grow with it.

Here are my top 5 takeaways from 2021…

Authenticity is your SUPERPOWER

Seriously.  You want to become a powerhouse? You can’t do it by trying to follow someone else’s roadmap. You will always flourish and shine most when you are leading from the heart and being your honest self. That might sound corny, but your business can be your truest form of self expression, and building your brand around what you love is the best way to do that.

Integrating personality into your brand is everything. Your personality, passion, and your heart are the essence of your identity in your brand. How do you want people to feel after interacting with you and/or your business? Keeping your “why,” your purpose, and your heart at the center of everything you do and letting it shine through.

Growth is not linear

This applies to life in general. Your business is tied so much to personal development, and as you grow, shift and evolve, so will your business. If some days starting a business feels like the most amazing thing, and some days it feels like you’re drowning and it’s the worst, you are NOT alone.

Our natural state as entrepreneurs is constantly stretching between how far you’ve come and how far you still want to go. We’re stretched between being so proud of one thing and simultaneously feeling like you haven’t met expectations on another. One of the kindest things you can do for yourself is embracing the change of seasons within yourself and your company.

Community is Critical.

This leads me into my third takeaway. Finding your people and creating a community. One of my biggest values within my side hustle is to embrace vulnerability and to remind people that they aren’t alone. No matter what business or market you’re in, creating connections that empower you will help you inspire others. The right community will remind you that in everything you experience, from the good, the bad, to the ugly, you are not alone.

Managing your mindset, expectations, values and keeping your patience and determination is damn near impossible to do on your own. So, create connections, build community, and make a habit of asking for help when you need it.

Time Management.

It takes time to get to where you want to go, and there’s no greater force than just sticking with things and seeing them through.  There are certainly strategies that will help with creating consistency and increasing chances for success – but for the sake of this pillar, it’s learning to be effective with your time. I’ve struggled with this so much, so many things to do and my monkey brain ran in all directions at all times.  I constantly felt like I didn’t have an off button.

I think as driven people that happens naturally sometimes, but there’s no gold medal for running yourself into the ground.  Instead, learn to time block and plan ahead. Prioritize your tasks and carve out specific times for yourself to refill your cup so you can hit the ground running with what comes next. Know when to hustle and when to rest.

Finding your Visual (public) Identity.

This ties into the authenticity of your business and your brand.  Choosing to take the time to represent who you are and why you’re different will help you and your businesses stand out. Again, think about how you want people to feel after they see you or interact with you. Sit down over coffee/tea or, my personal fav, a tall glass of Shiraz, and put some real thought into your why behind your business.

What are your values? What kind of customers/community do you want?  What spaces do I want to create? There are so many avenues we can take with these questions and introspection is my JAM (hello Psych degree and yoga side hustle).

So, no matter what phase of life and business you are in right now, if you’re in the mud of learning something new and it feels really messy but overwhelmingly wonderful at the same time, that might very well be a sign you’re doing something right.

I can’t wait to dive into all of these pillars even more as we continue to move forward.  There are some really exciting things in the works within my business hat of nine10.  Any guesses?

Always in your corner,


Alix Calfa

Alix Calfa

Originally from BC, Alix works full-time from our Grande Prairie office. In her day-to-day role, she works closely with our team to design & build websites, along with the occasional logo & any other client need.


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