Oh what a year it’s been. I have to say it’s one of the most challenging years I’ve had in recent times, I also lost all the weight I gained in 2014 and now trying to put it back 😦 . I learned much more about life, love, and business. I’ve been taught to count my blessings and I’m happily doing so. Too much to be grateful about.
The Not So Good
Leaving a job
It all came together at once that I was looking for something more when I decided to leave my ‘dream’ job. I thought about the lack of a steady income but what was driving me was much more, it was either now or never. Time, where would I rather spend my time? I could get money again, but time is gone forever. My priorities became clearer to me and I ended up being very happy I made the move.
My sister and I both experienced a cancer scare, and it was a tough couple of months between us, really happy that everything has been sorted out and we can enter the new year with a smile.
I got called ‘Nigger’ in Coventry by an irate taxi driver who I asked to reverse as he had passed the house I pointed to him, but instead he told me I need to go back to South Africa where I am from. For the first time I had to ask myself what that word really means. It was quite weird.
Also experienced blatant racism at work by colleagues and bosses, It’s not easy at all working in environments without allies but we move on… The important thing is to know who you are.
Creating Clients from Hell
For the first time, I had the proverbial client from hell, but I had to ask myself how come? I realized quickly that I had created the monster myself, and the whole experience has been a huge learning experience which I will expand on later.
I finally got to really see these words and understand what they are about.
> Commitment <> Ownership <> Priority<> Money<
My mindset about money is changing for the better, learning to see it as a necessary tool. I learned how much having an Ownership mindset drives the things we do and makes us much more committed and responsible. Also, being able to define priorities gives such a clarity that should be pursued.
Always be Creating
I took these words to heart so I got to illustrate and publish a book with a great response, opportunities and much more to come http://booklaunch.io/tonianni/mylovelyhair
Learning New things
I got to learn how to swim! which I feel so chuffed about, 2 weeks of focused learning with a teacher and watching YouTube videos. I learned how to organize events and to run a podcast. I also went through the UK’s first startup accelerator for Migrants where I got to learn loads about content and finance. I have to say with all these things, it is a continuous process of learning and improving.
Endorsements & Awards
One thing I learned in the year was that to get good things you have to go out and get them. Some good things might just happen to you, but you are likely to get much more ‘bad’ if you do nothing. I got a few awards in the year and most importantly was endorsed by Techcity UK as an ‘Exceptional Talent’ based on my contributions to the UK’s digital landscape.
Helping people connect & collaborate
Had the amazing chance to organize UX workshops, coding workshops, starting Codecademy’s first UK meet up in London, got to organize a Hackathon for teens. Helping up to 200 people learn new skills, connect with others, make new friends and get new opportunities.
Running the Women in tech Africa London group, Contributing to Digital Women UK and founding Platforms For Women and Karanta publishing. My desire to help underrepresented groups in UK really took shape and I look forward to doing much more in 2016.
Meeting amazing people
And finally, I meet some wonderful people who I’m so grateful they crossed my path this year. From my lovely mentors to cool collaborators who I am looking forward to working with in the new year. They have really helped shape my year in a good way.
Now ending the year at home with my family, couldn’t ask for better.
Thank you Baba God, for an unfailing love and making all things work together for good.