Happy 2017, friends!
Here we are, January 4. If you remember, last January 4 was my first full day as a full-time business owner (if you need a refresher, click here). What a day that was! I felt such promise, opportunity and growth right at my finger tips!
2016 was a true year of growth and growing pains, opportunity and refining my mission as a business owner and so many pinch-me moments. As I moved through the year, I just couldn't help but grin from ear to ear that I was really, truly, living out my dream. But it hasn't been all gold glitter hearts, sunshine and smelling the roses. I've written a little bit about the challenges of owning a business and trust me, there is more to come this year. If I've learned anything about my almost 10 years in business, I've heard that it's so HELPFUL to hear about the experiences of others so you can learn and grow in your own journey. One of my goals this year is to write more about those experiences so ya'll can hopefully grow too.
Last summer was a dream summer. I had a few bumps in the road, but I worked hard on actually taking a bit of a break. I did my morning coffee walks with Luis and felt my heart just soar in our relationship. We spent time camping and outdoors and I felt so filled to the brim with possibility. And rest. True rest. For someone who never does this and has historically actually disliked nature and sweating in summertime, this was amazing! Luis and I traveled to Washington DC and spent our first vacation together really growing as people and as a couple - plus, with a tour guide like Mary and a chef like Tim, how could you go wrong?! I'd love to share more about this trip soon.
Once the plane wheels hit the tarmack at MSP, I hit the ground running.
> First ever SBP summer mini sessions? CHECK.
> 9 bar and bat mitzvahs from August to December 2016. CHECK.
> 5 days of fall mini sessions and 30 families? CHECK.
> 2 trips to the MN State Fair and an eventful camping weekend? CHECK.
> Married off my sweet cousin Megan to Kyle and discovered a love for embroidery with my Gram? CHECK.
> 5 newborn babies, a couple weddings, a few engagement parties and finding a new studio? CHECK.
The holidays came and we celebrated with grateful hearts and here I am, exhausted. The end of December came and I had on my calendar time set aside to rest, regroup, work on goals for 2017. Start working on personal quilting and embroidery projects, reconnecting with friends and continuing kicking butt at this new-to-me 21 Day Fix Beachbody program. "Resting" but still checking everything off my to-do list.
Instead? I kept working. I kept my email open and on and the cookies baking and the coffee flowing.
But this week? I'm readjusting. I'm regrouping. I'm working on getting out of my own way to start seeing where growth has and is happening that I didn't even see because I was too busy.
I've read Emily Ley's Grace Not Perfection and Lara Casey's Make It Happen since Thanksgiving after previously starting the books and pushing them aside, thinking, "This is totally not for me. This is too emotional and of course they can take breaks from work to rest! They're making oodles of money! They have employees! This ship is a solo one for me!" But guess what, friends? There is so much truth in those pages.
In the last year, I told myself if I wasn't busy and checking off my list, I wasn't being a good enough business owner. I told myself that I had to keep working, keep busy and hustle. Good things happen to those who hustle, right?!
But a funny thing happened: when I took Mondays and Fridays off this summer, I felt rested. I felt solid in my relationships because I had time to devote to them. I enjoyed the sunshine and I had new ideas running through my brain like wildfire. I unplugged.
But once we returned from our vacation, I plugged back in and I stayed that way. I forgot to rest. I forgot to take days off for Luis and I to spend time together. My time with my parents became business-oriented, not family-oriented.
Years ago, sitting across the table eating ice cream together, my sweet friend Erin told me: It's okay to say no to good things. Four years later and it took a few burst-into-tear sessions for Luis to finally get through to me with this same idea.
I needed to make some hard choices in how I spent my time in order for our family and my business to grow. I had to say no to a few people and organizations I volunteer with. I had to say no to spending two days a week with three amazing kids as their nanny. I had to re-color code my calendar to tell myself that I'll take a lunch break and a workout break and a walking break every day. I have to choose myself (#selfcare!), our relationship, my business and our families and friends before I choose busy. I need to say YES to the things that fill and fuel me. (I'm still working on this list - I'll keep you updated when it's finished!)
.All this to say: I'm still a work in progress! I have a hard time saying no to work, to events and to sessions that will bring in more money. But I'm choosing to not work 1 Saturday a month so that I can really unplug and connect back into my relationships. I'm choosing to not work or meet clients or do sessions or events on Sundays.
2016 was a year filled with joy. At every turn, I almost fell to my knees in gratitude. I have been abundantly blessed by those I've crossed paths with this year. Onward and upward into 2017 :)