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3 BIG Lessons I Learned in 2021

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

It’s hard to believe we’re wrapping up yet another year!


I want to take some time this month to reflect and share a few lessons I’ve learned this first official year operating as a business owner of The Kerrminator LLC.


The hope is that you’ll find something to relate to or maybe just take away one little nugget of useful info.



Here are 3 lessons I learned this year:

Dietitian sitting on a beach journaling and reflecting.

  1. Prioritize mental health because it’s not going to fix itself and I’m not going to “grow out of it”. Get help and advocate for myself.

  2. It’s actually good to fall short on goals. If I’m hitting all my goals, I’m not setting the bar high enough for myself. (Once again, my business coach coming in with some SOLID advice. Thanks, Krista!)

  3. Say YES to more opportunities. As an introvert, it’s easy to let the entrepreneur lifestyle be a solopreneur lifestyle and allow myself to turn into a “lonelypreneur.” It doesn’t have to be that way and collaboration is incredibly fulfilling.



1. Prioritize mental health

Drawing of a human brain.

This is one big, heavy, monster of a subject and I want to hit it first, because if you read nothing else, I want you to read this.


We all struggle with something.


Personally, I struggle with a lot of things, but a big one is social anxiety.


My anxiety manifests in the form of awkward conversation, fast-talking to answer a question quickly and get the attention off of me, physically shrinking down, choosing isolation, sweating, tension in my muscles, upset guts (FUN!), insomnia, heart palpitations, rapid heart rate, panic, shakiness, headaches, almost fainting in some instances, running through worst-case scenarios in my head, re-living cringey interactions over and over, going mentally blank in a conversation… you get the idea.


Imagine the “You’re doing amazing sweetie!” meme here.

(I cope with humor if that’s not obvious)



I've lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember and have always moved through life with the mindset that “I’ll grow out of it” because that’s what I was told and it's what I continued to tell myself.


I thought for a LONG time that I can get better on my own without help.


Seeking out therapy or any kind of mental health services was not something I saw family or friends do growing up and I’d describe my family as the “grin and bear it” type. I heard the phrase “you’re just shy, you’ll get over it as you get older” thing for years.



Well, I’m 32 and I still have anxiety soooo lesson I learned is: listen to my gut and advocate for myself.


That being said, one of the hardest parts of being a person with anxiety, (which includes phone anxiety), is making that initial phone call, but I’m glad I finally did.



I’ve also found relating to people with similar anxieties to be really helpful, but I’ll admit it can be hard to open up to someone.


If I can give you any advice, if you’re struggling with anxiety or other life stuff, reach out to a friend or someone you trust.


Between the pandemic and politics and the weight of the world lately, it’s completely understandable that many of us are hitting a rough patch of road on our life journey.


Remember, everyone is struggling with something. You reaching out might open the door for them to open up about some of their struggles too. We don’t have to solve each other’s problems, but we can be there to listen and sometimes that’s enough.


One other resource I'll mention, I highly recommend listening to episode 7 of the Freelance Dietitian Podcast, "How to Manage Anxiety, Perfectionism, and Imposter Syndrome ft. Keith Jim, RSW". I found Julia and Keith's discussion about training ourselves to associate the bedroom with sleep really helpful for my night anxiety.



They helped me realize I’ve inadvertently trained myself to prefer the couch if I have insomnia. I decided to try guided sleep meditations for the past couple weeks and I'm happy to report that I've been able to reduce the number of nights I experience an angry nighttime bed-to-couch migration. #progress



2. It’s okay (and actually good) to fall short of your goals

Two people reviewing business goals and metrics

Onto more business-y stuff that’s a little less heavy!


This lesson is the idea that if you’re hitting all your goals, you’re not setting the bar high enough for yourself.


Part of why I’ve set some low-bar goals is I want that feeling of accomplishment because reaching a goal feels good.


However, if I’m not fully STRETCHING to meet a goal because I set the bar really low, am I really growing to my full potential?


I will say that part of my situation is I’m new at this whole “business-owner” thing and I don’t have a firm grasp on what a “reasonable goal” is for all of the many areas of my business, but I’m learning.





This year I can say I set the bar too low on things like my social media growth and email list because I surpassed those goals.


I can also say I didn’t have enough of a plan in place for my some goals because it’s one thing to throw out a lofty goal to stretch to, but it’s another thing to actually have a plan in place to come close to reaching it.


The plus side to this is now I can take this information and set more realistic goals and create a better plan for next year.


If I fall short of next year’s goals that means I’m setting the bar high enough to still be growing and reaching.


If it’s a challenge, but I come close then I know my strategy and planning is working.


Falling short of goals is not failure. It’s good.





3. Say YES to Opportunities and Connections

Connecting with other dietitians over zoom meetings

As an introvert, it’s easy to let the entrepreneur lifestyle be a solopreneur lifestyle and allow myself to turn into a “lonelypreneur.” It doesn’t have to be that way and collaboration is incredibly fulfilling.


I met some really great dietitians this year that I wouldn’t have connected with if I hadn’t put myself out there. (Shoutout to Celestina of The Wellness Cucina for being the queen of connecting dietitians for me these past few weeks.)



Earlier this year I read Maye Musk’s book, “A Woman Makes a Plan”. I was very interested to learn more about her life and hoped to gain some inspiration from her story especially having been a dietitian for many years, but also pursuing other interests like modeling.


One of the chapters that stood out to me was, “Why Not? Say yes to opportunities”.


I can’t tell you how much I’ve let my anxiety get in the way of pursing my interests.


Although I’m still working through my anxieties, (because managing anxiety is a journey without a finite destination), I definitely feel like I’ve said ‘yes’ to more things that have come my way this year than I have in the past few years.



I really needed the friendly reminder to "Say Yes" to more opportunities and would definitely recommend the book if you haven't already read it.


Having the courage to go live on instagram and Twitch, collab with other RDs, and try out new things has been great for growing my network and getting my name and services out there.


I can’t say thank you enough to all the people who have found their way into my life this past year and I (anxiously) look forward to shoving my nervous-ass into more opportunities in 2022.





What word has defined your year?

Person holding a mug that reads "like a boss"

The last thing I want to leave you with is something we did in my business coach’s end-of-year planning session. We all came up with a word to describe or define our year.


I kind of did this for 2021, though I don’t remember if I actually wrote it down, but 2021 for me was all about consistency.


Showing up. Being present. Focussing less on perfection and just being consistent. This included:


  • 1 blog post per month

  • 1 YouTube video per month

  • Weekly Twitch Streams

  • 2-3 Instagram posts a week

  • Building a consistent, sustainable daily workout routine

  • Getting into daily practice in my studio

  • Starting a monthly newsletter

I decided my word for 2022 is going to be ‘FEARLESS’. 2022 is going to be the year of fearless boss-bitch vibes.


I’m a shy, timid, squirrel-person riddled with anxiety, but I’m going to be fearless.


I’m going to manifest the boss bitch I want to be and give myself permission to step out and be that person because no one else is going to give me an invite.



Do you have a word for your 2022?


Write it on a sticky note and keep it somewhere you’ll look at it every day and manifest that shit.


Happy 2022.



Happy manifesting.


Keep creating.




-Sara




 

About the Author


Sara Kerr, RDN, LD

Sara is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, artist, writer, and video editor. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutrition from Oregon State University. In 2021 she founded The Kerrminator LLC, which specializes in creative services for Dietitians including video editing, graphic design, and content creation.



 

Are you interested in starting a side hustle and want to learn more about the potential of video for your business?

You should check out my ebook, Embracing Video to Communicate Nutrition. It offers guidance for exploring your options and steps to get the ball rolling on your new venture.


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Guest
Dec 16, 2021

Great blog post! Thank you for being so open!

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Sara Kerr
Sara Kerr
Dec 20, 2021
Replying to

I appreciate that. Bottling things up has definitely become a nasty habit of mine and probably the most harmful thing I've done to my own progress.

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