Lessons Learned in 2018 and A Recap

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I find it very easy to end the year in a flurry, quickly moving on to the next year and forgetting what happened in the previous year. As someone who easily looks at the negative and forgets all the good things I accomplished, this type of post if very important for me to write.

I need to take a minute to reflect. Think. Ponder. Look back and see what worked and what didn’t.

2018 was good to me. And 2018 was hard too.

It was a year of growth in my personal life and in my business. It was a year of taking risks, learning about myself and figuring out what works for me.

At the end of last year (2017), I felt similar to how I feel today: tired, confused, and weary. I am starting to notice that this is my natural response to the year ending. I look at all the things that didn’t happen. The things I didn’t do well and the things I should have done better.

So, in an effort to stop those feelings before 2019 starts and start the year on a positive note, I’m diving into lessons learned in 2018, goals I achieved, and my highlights of the year, both personal and business.

Major Lessons Learned in 2018:

  1. I struggle with anxiety: not what you were expecting, right? Well, I wouldn’t say that I have serious anxiety, but it is something new that has entered my life. It’s new and it’s exhausting. Unfortunately, I honestly believe that it has been a direct result of social media. You can read all about my experience with this struggle in this post. This new experience with anxiety is not something I ever expected to deal with, so it’s something I am working through each and every day.

  2. I am a 2 on the Enneagram: are you familiar with the Enneagram? Reading about the enneagram has been so helpful in understanding myself and why I respond to certain situations in the way that I do. As a number 2 on the Enneagram, my main motivation for everything is to be loved. I desperately just wanted to be loved by everyone. Obviously, this can present a lot of issues. Because most other people don’t show the kind of love that twos want or need, yet they still love them. It leaves a two feeling hurt and forgotten (maybe just this 2!), so I’ve had to do a lot of work in my mind and my heart about being a healthy 2. I could write an entire blog post about this, so I’ll just leave it here!

  3. Taking risks is good: I started 2018 with some timidity in my heart and mind about business. I wasn’t sure what direction to take or where to go with my focus. I was a new mom and wanted to focus my time intentionally, so I decided to take some risks. I branched out to brand new products. I launched a Mastermind and charged the most I’ve ever charged for anything in my business. I tried some partnerships. I tried different marketing strategies. Some worked, some didn’t. The risks I took in 2018 really helped form my business trajectory and what I will continue to focus on in the coming years.

  4. Believing in yourself is powerful: this piggy backs on what I just said above. I chose to really take risks and BELIEVE that I could achieve them. I honestly believe that so much of your own success comes from how much faith you have in yourself. If you tell yourself all the time that you are going to fail, it is bound to happen. But, if you tell yourself all about the good things and believe that you’re able and capable, that’s more likely to happen.

  5. Doing less is sometimes better: I chose to do less in 2018. And it was the best decision I could have made for myself. Previous years, I tried to pile on a bunch of different types of work and offer a plethora of services and products. It left me confused, and if I was confused, my audience was definitely going to be confused. So, I tried to focus on one type of audience I would serve for business education and one type of audience I would serve for my product shop. Doing that was powerful.

Goals I achieved:

If you look back on my 2018 Goals post, you can read about my goals more in depth, but they were something like this:

Launch Two Mini Courses: didn’t do this, but it’s good because it didn’t fit into my long-term mission.

Read 12 novels: check! About 6 months in.

Find a work-mom routine: still working on this, but it slowly got better with time. But I really want to dive more into this in 2019.

Grow my email list: I definitely worked on this and achieved this. It’s growing a little slower than I hoped, but it’s growing and that’s progress for me! :)

Do daily devotionals: the last few months of the year were incredibly busy and hard, and this suffered, but it’s still something I prioritize.

Take intentional vacations: we took one big vacation in 2018 to Italy and I definitely unplugged while we were there. It was weird for a little bit, but it also felt SO GOOD to not worry about the feed or algorithms.

Detoxify my skincare: I loved achieving this goal in 2018 and completed it by the end of January.

Start a podcast: yep! My friend Nicole and I started The Mompreneur Podcast in May 2018 and still working on it. When the holiday rush hit, both our business boomed and we weren’t quite prepared, so it’s taken a back seat, but I have a feeling that it will get even better in 2019!

I would say I am pretty proud of my progress on these goals! As time goes on, my priorities change. At the beginning of 2018, I thought I would focus on launching some online courses, but I found that hosting a Mastermind was WAY more in my realm of expertise and passion instead of creating courses. And I would say that discovering that was so, so helpful for me.

Highlights from 2018:

Kicking the year off with the second half of Joel’s Paternity Leave: Joel was able to get 6 weeks of Paternity leave, but we split it up 3 weeks and 3 weeks. So, the second three weeks were right after Christmas and New Year’s so it was almost like 5 weeks off! It was a great way to start 2018.

Starting a Mastermind: I started my first Product Shop Mastermind in March of 2018 and it turned out to be the best thing EVER. Serving and coaching product shop owners was the best thing I ever did in my business and will continue to host them in the future. I am hosting ONE mastermind in 2019 and I can’t wait to work alongside some incredible shop owners!

Traveling to Italy: my husband, Knox, my parents, and I all traveled to Italy in June and it was by far the highlight of my year. Even though traveling to Europe with a baby was exhausting, I am SO glad that we did it. You can read my blog post on Italy here.

Watching Knox learn to walk and explore: Knox is by far my favorite human in the world and watching him transform from a baby to a toddler this year has been so fun. His personality is shining, his heart is a heart of gold, and he is so much fun. He’s goofy and energetic. Busy and rambunctious. We love every little part of him and we are so grateful he is ours.

Weekend Trips: we took a lot of weekend trips this year and it was so fun! When Knox was first born I was so anxious to travel on the weekends for a MULTITUDE of reasons, but I chilled out a little more in 2018 which allowed us to have a tad more fun.

My Q4 goals and success: I am really proud of my Q4 in 2018 and how my business boomed, what felt like, overnight. I am grateful for every single person who has ordered, liked photos, commented, tagged, etc. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my incredible clients and customers.

First 5-figure “launch”: I don’t know if this qualifies as a “launch” but when I opened up signups and registration for my second mastermind, I made over 5-figures. I hesitate to put this on here because I don’t think numbers are always a definition of success, but for me, this was really exciting. 2018 was definitely a year where I started to focus more on the numbers and treat them as data so I could make better informed decisions. Which is a great business move and strategy.

Truth be told, the end of 2018 was really, really hard. If you follow along with my on social media, you probably remember the Camp Fire that ravaged a nearby community and changed a lot for our region. It was devastating and heartbreaking. We had some of our own personal heartbreak that left us completely depleted and worn down at the end of the year. While 2018 brought a lot of joy and fun, it also had its fair share of pain for us. We are counting our blessings, while also sitting in our grief. We are hopeful 2019 will bring joy, hope, and peace for our hearts. And we wish the same for you.