My 2012 Reflection

By December 31, 2012 Business, Philosophy No Comments

willrodriguez-2012-reflect
Photo: Bridgett Rex
As the year whines down and I take a moment to reflect on everything that has passed, I can’t help but think of what a monumental year this has been for my development. It’s so easy for one to get wrapped up in the bad things that may have happened, and although I sure did have my share of them, I’m taking those experiences as lessons for improvement and wisdom. Similar to My 2011 Reflection, this year was definitely full of new lessons to learn.

Professionally, this year has brought a lot of new challenges and experiences. At my job, I went from being another nine-to-fiver to becoming a liaison for future tech and business development for the company. In 2011, I learned that ‘creative problem solving‘ was a niche talent that I had and needed to utilize regularly to keep me from getting bored. In 2012, that skill was was definitely put to the test by being part of a small committee to analyze, and to a certain extent reinvent, the entire workflow process for a company that’s been successfully in business for over 55 years. Talk about pressure! I learned the true value of having the right people to create a certain dynamic within a team to achieve successful results; something that has been an issue for me in my entrepreneurial ventures in the past. As we continue to refine this worklflow process, one thing seems to continue to challenge us. No matter how similar a business can be, no two businesses run the same way. Every solution needs to be a custom solution. Despite all the technology with iPads and the cloud, the inherent challenge will always be the culture of the people you have working with you. Adaptation to change is different for every person and you must learn each person’s strengths and weaknesses in order to provide better catered assistance.

On the entrepreneurial front, I put several projects on hold to pursue one that has been a passion of mine over the last two and half years. Sacramento Fashion Week is now in its 7th year, growing at a staggering rate since 2011. The 2012 week was a huge success which brought us some much well deserved attention. For the 2012 SACFW, my dear friend and fashion ‘Mum’, Caren Templet, came on board to provide more structure to the event while also mentoring our team as well as the designers on what fashion is all about. She brought the refinement in production that everyone experienced and contributed to the event’s success. In the early planning stages for the upcoming SACFW 2013, we focused a lot on strategic partnerships. We looked to area businesses and organizations that not only wanted to be part of the event, but that we could create a symbiotic relationship with. Uniting the fashion community has always been part of the bigger picture for us and this year we took a big step towards accomplishing that goal. Together with The Citizen Hotel, we started the Fashion Affair. A monthly event aimed towards uniting the community, encouraging collaboration and if anything else, an excuse to dress up; the Fashion Affairs have been a huge success and a great way to practice for the big event. We’ve now been focusing more attention on logistics and audience experience, as that is a big part of the core of our business. Fashion is much more than just a look, it’s a feeling and experience. This year is on track to be the biggest year for Sac Fashion Week and without a doubt one to be remembered.

With all that’s been going on in my professional life, my personal life definitely suffered this year. There was very little balance between work and personal life in the first couple of months. I’ve always been one to value the relationships I have and continue to develop but this year was a definite challenge to maintain them. The weak relationships broke, the strong ones became even stronger. At one point so much was changing that I felt I was losing myself only to realize that I was evolving. The people I decided to keep close to me were the ones that were influencing that change. Genuine people are hard to find, especially when you begin to be noticed by others for what you do in town. It’s important to be able to identify the people that you want to keep close and those that you should keep at a safe distance. However that always poses a challenge because of our defenses and insecurities. Shrek said it best, people “are like onions…they both have layers.” As children we have no filter, perfect innocence. We show our true colors with no regard to how others may perceive it. However as we get older that changes, whether it be for protection from emotional pain or public acceptance. We begin to create these layers that we shed to different people based on how comfortable we feel around them. We live in character (social media makes this extremely easy) until you meet someone that invests the time to break through the act. This year I learned who those people were and how many layers I could show them. I found who was worth fighting for and who to let go. My family will always come first and only recently have I began to introduce them to a given few. It has been an incredible experience seeing them finally meet those that have helped shape who I am today.

With 2013 just a couple hours of way, I am looking forward to all the great things that will come my way as well as for those that are around me. For me I know this year brings a lot more change. Challenges will be met with strategic thinking. No obstacle will be too big to overcome. I will create my future, write my own destiny and continue to grow. And with that, I bid you all a happy and prosperous New Year!

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