I think we can all agree that 2016 has been a year filled with so many emotions and experiences that it may well be hard to figure out whether it was good, bad or ugly!
I know my 2016 has been all sorts of things and whilst I don’t wish to take away from the successes and plights of others around the world, I am writing this as an experience that is relative to me on how my 2016 has been.
It’s not entirely SEO related or even tied to Dubai – it’s more of a personal reflection on the learnings from the year that appears many of us wish we could forget.
In 2016, I did surprisingly well to resist sales at Typo, MUJI, Daiso and any shop that sold ‘back to school’ supplies. My love for stationery and office supplies still exists but I realised that I didn’t need to feed it by buying more things.
I realised that true joy is in actually using the many top quality pens, pencils and notepads I have. Buying more and more won’t make me happy.
In 2016, I realised how easily I let myself get knocked down, whether it’s someone shooting down my ideas to people coming at me with all guns blazing, totally unprovoked. It’s through this experience that I realised that from 2017 onwards, if I didn’t back myself up first, no one else would back me up.
And even then, I still cannot expect or rely on anyone else to back me up. Confidence is of utmost importance and vital to survival and progress in 2017.
It reminded me of a mantra I once lived by in a time when I managed vBulletin forums and battled online trolls: always outnumbered, never outgunned.
You will always be up against others and invariably more than 1 person but you win by ensuring you’ve got a better arsenal than them. Which leads me to the next realisation…
In 2016, I realised how important it is to be fully prepared when going into ‘battle’. Forewarned is forearmed as my father always taught me. Working at Property Finder and with a lot of people who lived to sweat the small stuff and nitpick taught me that details matter. If you can do a proper job the first time round, why not?
I used to get so annoyed when people would pick out minor discrepancies that didn’t matter at a time when we were simply showing proof of concept. Like so what if the button said ‘submit’ instead of ‘send’? I’m showing you how a page would look and the text on a button shouldn’t matter when it doesn’t impact the overall layout of a page. And yeah, strictly speaking, it doesn’t really matter – but I’ve learnt that ensuring you have the right things in place at every point shows finesse. It puts your work on a higher level than others and it’s what gives you the edge.
In 2016, I realised how much I underestimate myself and keep myself from achieving greatness. Not on the level of celebrities or politicians. I mean when it comes to work and the people around me.
I realise that too often, people were looking at me to lead the charge because they didn’t know how to or were scared and I either did a half baked job of it or failed to lead from the front.
I know I’m a wallflower. I have felt that if I push from the back and big others up, it would lead to progress. But it’s progress for others, not me. And this isn’t a ‘what about me’ plea for help. It’s just saying it’s time for me to progress too.
In 2016, I realised how important it is to keep maintaining bridges and never letting them crumble or burning them in a fit of rage. Like a lot of people, I get loads of messages on LinkedIn from people asking for job hunt tips, job referrals or just for a job.
And whilst I’m not in a hiring capacity (in that I make the final call), I found that there’s no reason to flip people off. My answers have become standard but they’re no less helpful because everyone needs a hand and people will remember you for when you helped them out. After the year we’ve witnessed, this is something our world needs more of.
In 2016, I realised that my self worth is determined by me and me alone. My value is not limited by my salary certificate and by how much someone else thinks I should be paid. My sustenance and provision is preordained and I am my only limit to that. No one can hold me down if I don’t let them.
In 2016, I realised that my time management is something that hasn’t improved like it needed to. It means I go into the uphill climb that is 2017 with rollerskates instead of running shoes.
But with the support of the great people I’ve befriended in 2016 and the knowledge gained through every experience, I know that I can and will make 2017 a year to remember.
It will be a year to defy those who have stood in my way and those who looked down at me when they should have been helping me up.
2017 is a year I become a stronger, more confident digital marketing professional. I will launch my mobile apps, I will host events and I will Become The Alpha Muslim.