Is anyone else still finding it hard to believe that we’re halfway through February of 2020? A new year, a new decade. Here we are.
Yet, I’m still writing 2019 on everything. Still settling in. Anyone else?
And, I don’t know about you, but I’m still reflecting on last year. It’s super easy to plunge head-long into moving forward, but to properly steward what’s ahead, I need a good grasp on what is behind. I need learn its lessons, so I can avoid the same mistakes.
Well, who am I kidding? There’s probably some of that in my future anyway, as hard-headed as I am, but I’m gonna try.
Here are some of last year’s highlights and lessons:
If you’re new around here, I’ve had chronic health issues since April 2012. Most of them stem from severe adrenal fatigue, but that same year I also got mono and had my gallbladder removed. Dealing with all of these things within a few months of each other devastated my immune system, and I’ve been trying to rebuild it ever since. Additionally, since I’ve had health problems for so long, it’s caused other issues now and again, such as with my thyroid.
So, yep, I get to deal with the general peskiness of getting older along with this kind of junk. Not fun.
Anyway, I try and treat everything naturally. It’s more time-consuming and certainly expensive, but for things like adrenal fatigue, there is no pill. And, when using medication, you’re also primarily treating symptoms anyway, not root issues.
But that’s how I got here. It’s involved a lot of natural treatments, and a whole lot of supplements.
One thing that went well for my health last year was my supplements. We’re always fiddling with them and trying new ones. And I feel like we hit a good (but expensive) mix last year. I certainly still have a lot of ups and downs, but overall, I noticed an improvement—and that’s very good news. I’ll take any improvements I can get.
Also, I started using the Noom app last year. Due to my health issues, it’s harder for me to lose weight, so it’s been a real struggle, both internally and externally. And, of course, I have very little energy on a lot of days, which means exercise is almost nonexistent. But after I got my supplements in good order, I felt like it was time to try again.
I’ve given Noom a try and lost about 12 pounds in the last four months. It’s a slow process, but I have to admit, it’s good to see some movement on the scale and in my clothes. I’m going to keep at it. (My link saves you 20% if you want to try it.)
All in all, it’s progress for my health, and that’s a very good thing.
Honestly, this is the part of my life that gets the least attention. For better or worse, that’s how it is for me, at least for now.
Since I’m self-employed and work from home, my job takes up a lot of my time and energy, and most days, there’s not a lot left over. I have incredible friends, but I don’t get to see them all that often. Weekends are usually about rest because of working long hours and needing to recover for the sake of my health before the next work week starts.
To some people, that may sound sad. To others, highly relatable. To me, it is what it is.
Anytime I get together with friends, they tend to reiterate a lot of what I’m saying, even though many of them have spouses and kids. People, in general, seem disconnected. It’s become a little cliche to say that we even though we live in a highly-connected world, many people feel disconnected—but I still find it to be mostly true from the conversations I have.
I’m grateful for every time I get to see family and friends, but those are small moments throughout the year.
Travel is a part of both my personal and work life, so I’m sandwiching it in-between. Travel is one of my absolute favorite things, but I didn’t get to do much of it last year.
2018 was a BIG travel year for me (England/Ireland/Scotland and cross-country by Amtrak, to name a few), so I needed to reign it in last year. Plus, pretty much all of my travel points were gone, ha!
So, last year, I took quick trips to Blue Ridge, Birmingham, and Chattanooga for my quarterly work retreats, and of course, I went to Texas for the holidays as usual, but that’s about it.
I’m not quite sure what 2020 has in store for travel just yet, but I certainly hope I can squeeze in a few more trips this year.
As someone who is self-employed, this is where I focus a lot of my time. I often work long hours, and it’s certainly not filled with long lunches, trips to the beach, and doing whatever I want—no matter what many people advertise. Again, maybe one day. 🙂
I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, and my journey seems to be fairly typical. Last year marked three years in business for me, and it’s been quite a ride! According to myself and friends in similar situations, the first two-ish years is all about holding on for dear life and saying yes to everything possible.
The third-ish year is about getting your business model solidified, learning what you like to work on, making sure you have good systems and process in place to keep you moving forward. That’s certainly true for me.
In 2019, I took three online classes for my business. I’m a bit of a compulsive course-buyer, so this was me showing some restraint. 😉
The first class, The Blueprint Model, was about becoming a better business owner. I freely admit that I’m someone who turned a marketable skill (writing) into a business, not someone who had a good head for business and tried to figure out what I should do. The Blueprint Model really helped me with the financial side, which is what I really needed, but also just helped me understand the business-side of my business better. That meant I became a more confident business owner.
The second class was called Partnership Accelerator, and only lasted a month. But it was an extremely packed month! Because my word for 2019 was Synergy, I wanted to work on my understand of partnerships and really use those to my business advantage. The class was really good, but different than I thought it would be. So, it required a change in expectations. Overall, though, I learned a lot and was able to apply that knowledge going forward. And I’m still learning a lot from that company.
The third class was totally unplanned, to be honest, but ended up being awesome. One of the things I decided that I wanted to work on in the latter half of the year was Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That’s because it is a total grind to constantly go out and find new clients. I wanted more clients to come to me, and SEO is a good way to do that.
I heard Meg Casebolt on a podcast, and she was the first person who actually made SEO easy to understand for me. So, I took her free SEOctober challenge, and low and behold, ended up getting a new client via Google that same month! As you can imagine, I was hooked. I poured myself into the challenge, and ending up winning a spot into her Attract & Activate course. I’ve learned a ton over the past couple of months from her, and am excited to now implement this strategy into my business.
Outside of those classes, yes, I did actually manage to get work done. In fact, it was my most profitable year yet! Only, by about $1,100, but I’ll take it, ha!
These three classes, sustaining relationships, and lots of networking were the key to my success last year. And I think they laid a really solid foundation for 2020. I’m still reaping their benefits for sure, and hope to improve on them. (More on this soon!)
Last year was a pivotable year for my company, Signify, and I hope that I can keep up the momentum going. I’m certainly trying hard.
So, that’s some insight into last year. As always, it was busy and went quickly. But I’m grateful for the lessons learned, new experiences, and certainly, the improvements along the way.
How was 2019 for you?