Lessons learned in 2018 and 2019 goals

I am finding it really difficult to figure out how to describe 2018 exactly. It was an amazing year for my business. It was my fifth full year in business and my busiest and most profitable year. I really found my stride with moving to full time editing and education and loved working with my clients, some new teammates and trying out all sorts of new things.

It was also a really, really tough year in a lot of ways. We arrived in the Seattle area in January and moved into our new home which was incredibly exciting because we had wanted to get back to this area for so long! But it also meant a departure from an incredible community of friends and getting settled into a new city...again. Paul was also now retired (yay!!!) but that meant we had to figure out how to navigate retired life as well as a partial home renovation.

The biggest reason it was tough was mainly because I felt very isolated and removed from any real sense of community. I have never lived in this area before while working from home, so not being “out and about” in the city and around people was a hard transition for me. I didn’t have the same connections with other creative business owners that I did in New Jersey and it honestly affected it me more than I really thought it would.

 
2018 Lessons-2019 Goals.jpg
 

Despite all of that, it was still an amazing year. I was able to accomplish so many of my goals. I failed at lots of things. I made some new friends. I traveled to new places. I learned a TON about how to run and grow my business even more in 2019.

Some highlights of 2018:

  • Traveling to New Jersey to shoot my final wedding!

  • Building an amazing deck and getting a hot tub

  • Renovating our downstairs bathroom

  • Refreshing our kitchen!!

  • Working with two amazing women who helped me keep my business going! Thanks AllieDanae and Morgan!!

  • Taking a two week long car trip all around the West Coast!

  • Getting plugged into a new church family in our city

  • Speaking at The Reset Conference!

  • Being chosen as a keynote speaker for the Creative Growth Summit

  • Working with almost 20 amazing wedding photographers and editing around 250 weddings and 150 other sessions!

  • Starting my 30 for $30 series and helping others learn quickly and efficiently

  • Bringing home Stella and Marvin (two puppies! Lord help us)

  • Completely changing our knowledge of food and diets and losing just over 30 lbs!

  • Traveling to the Creative at Heart conference in November

  • Spending a few days with friends in the Adirondacks disconnecting and reconnecting with each other and with God.

And some tough stuff:

  • Missing my friends and community in New Jersey and feeling all the FOMO

  • Launching a few things that didn’t sell

  • Saying goodbye to Guinness at the end of the year was heart wrenching

  • Feeling lost with business and the direction I wanted to take things

Even though I could potentially add more stuff to that tough stuff list...I find that I learn so much from those tough things that actually end up being positive. It really is all about perspective and understanding that sometimes the tough times are what really help you to grow the most!

 
SparkPhotos2017_0111.jpg
 

A few of the most important lessons from 2018 that I am continuing to apply or apply more of going into 2019:

  • Getting help is so important - don’t be afraid to hire people or ask for advice or help...it may work and it may not, but at least you tried. This will help grow you more than you realize!

  • Schedules are where it’s at - getting more of a routine and a schedule has helped me to be more accountable to myself and get more done in a shorter amount of time. This has helped me to be more intentional with my time instead of just filling large amounts of time with unnecessary things. I will be implementing even more schedules into my work weeks going forward.

  • Really understand WHY you are doing things - doing things just because it seems to be working for other people is one of the biggest problems for creative business owners. Sure try things out, but really have a good understanding of WHY you want to try this thing out first before putting time, effort and money into something just because it seems to be working for someone else.

  • Don’t make assumptions about what people want - this goes hand in hand with #3. I have learned SO much about my audience by simply asking them questions. Make assumptions and then back them up with data. Data will be your best friend.

  • More focus needs to go into my email list - even though I have a growing email list of a decent size (for me anyway) I often times overthink it and put too much pressure on myself to not “bother” people on my list and I feel bad sending emails. I need to work on getting a better system in place and do some mindset work in this area to really start seeing more results.

  • Stories are my strength...so more of that - I love doing instagram stories and I get a lot of positive feedback from them. More of this in 2019.

  • Community and intentional “catch ups” need to be priority - without an intimate and in person community in my backyard, I need to make online community a continued priority. Working to schedule calls with business and personal friends to keep those relationships strong and healthy is something I definitely need to prioritize into 2019.

  • I am so much more than my business - running your own lifestyle or personality based business can be a real mind challenge. The intersection of who we are as people and our businesses can get very intertwined and muddled. This can obviously cause a LOT of challenges not only for our business but for our own sanity. I need to continue to remind myself that I am not my business, it is a big part of me but it’s not everything. My worth and value as a human being is not tied up in income reports or instagram likes.

 
SparkPhotos2017_0143.jpg
 

2019 Goals:

I have a few MAIN goals and each of these goals are comprised of many other smaller goals so I can not get overwhelmed with the BIG overarching goal that I want to achieve.

  • Contribute 5k/month in income to my household income. That means around 8k/month gross income. - there is obviously a LOT that goes into this. Number of clients, keeping my expenses low, planning for passive income...a lot. I will be doing a lot of pushing forward this year to make this number a reality!

  • Lose 70 lbs before the end of the year - going to continue doing what I am doing now with a few tweaks here and there, but this should be the year when I finally get back to a weight and body composition that I haven’t seen since high school. I finally feel free from the uncertainty about how to lose and maintain and eat foods that don’t harm me but fuel me properly.

  • Read 50 books - I’ve done this before and I am so excited to do it again. I don’t read to feel smarter or important, I simply love getting lost in the pages of a book. I’ll be keeping track on instagram and on goodreads if you want to follow along!

  • Get more visible to increase my impact - this will include specific goals around speaking and being guests on podcasts!

  • Grow in my faith and be more open to what God is calling for me to do in my life to serve Him better - pretty much a constant goal of mine but I want to put some more specific parameters around this so I can stay on track!

  • Finish the first draft of a book - yep I said it...lots more to come on this!


 

Are you ready to move your Hobby to a Business? I’ve got the perfect mini course just for you!

Click below to get more info on the course!