In the name of total honesty, I'll tell you this: 2017 was a year that I learned some tough lessons. That's why my goals for 2018 are going to require a lot of tough love to accomplish!
Take Fewer Clients
In last Friday's post, I mentioned that I had 38 amazing full service clients in 2017. I also hit a big financial goal that I didn't even really set for myself (we'll talk about that more on the blog later!). Now, most people (myself included), would think hitting this financial goal would be IT. I thought I should FEEL successful, but deep down, I didn't. Deep down, I knew that this number came at a cost. I sacrificed a lot of quality time with Joe and Emma, a lot evenings with friends, a lot of memories.
That's why in 2018, I am only taking 25 wedding clients. That's a little scary to even type! I'll never feel good about turning away clients, but last year, I learned that when I was saying yes to more clients, I was saying no to my family. To my friends. And to myself. Which brings me to my next big goal . . . .
More Joe, More Emma
Even though we did take some fun family trips in 2017 . . . I was usually taking my work with me. Sometimes that meant actually hauling paper and invitations to assemble on road trips. Other times, my mind was on my deadlines instead of in the moment.
In 2018, I want to work and live from a place of more rest and less hustle. I know that spending more quality with the people who matter most to me is only going to fuel my creativity and my heart for my clients even more.
In 2017, I started seeing a Christian counselor. Yeah, we ARE getting personal on the blog! If you really sit back and think about the crazy amount of STUFF that's thrown at us on a daily basis, you'll be amazed (like I was) that any of us are even surviving. There's no shame in needing a little help. Counseling helps me work through all of my thoughts and worries and insecurities.
My counselor has been invaluable. As one example, she got me started on this calming magnesium powder tea that helps me get REAL sleep. Not restless sleep, not tossing and turning sleep, REAL sleep. And it makes ALL the difference.
I'm also taking better care of my physical health. My body is in pain and it needs to stop. I have a personal trainer that I'll be seeing once or twice a week. His name is Chad, and he is awesome. He likes my Instagram posts! haha. I'm also running three times a week to get ready for . . . are you ready for it? The Monument Avenue 10k! You're really not a Richmonder until you've done it, and I work in the city (ahem, Quirk Hotel!) enough to be a Richmonder!
- side note: if you didn't get the T.Swift diddy in that last paragraph, we can't be friends :)
Less Comparison, Less Social Media
I struggled a lot with the comparison game last year. I was always comparing myself to other artists, other designers, other business owners, other moms, other friends . . . and it was killing me.
Then I had one of the best realizations I've ever had as an artist and a business owner. Are you ready? Thinking about other people (anyone who isn't an ETP client) isn't going to get me anywhere. Because if you think about it, without a client, it's all just a big popularity contest. Who gets the most likes, who has more followers, who gets more shares . . . none of that matters if you aren't taking care of your clients, the people who trust you and love your work enough to pay you!
In 2018, I'm going to run my social media and not let it run me.
Serving My Clients Well. Really Well.
With slowing down and taking fewer clients, I'm ready to focus more on giving an incredible experience. I want to work from a place of rest and adopt that old oxygen mask rule. You know, the one that says you have to put your OWN oxygen mask first, then help the person next to you? I'm ready to put my oxygen mask on and make sure my clients are getting the BEST possible experience.
Looking at all of those goals, I've definitely found my word for the year: LIGHT. I want to BE a light for other people. I want to walk and LIVE lightly. I want to spend time with my family and feel light hearted. And I truly believe that by taking better care of myself and hustling less . . . I'll be able to do just that.
2017 was a rough year, but you know what, I'm so thankful. I'm stronger, wiser and thinking so much clearer.
"She wasn't born herself
she found herself
over a long
and treacherous road
and the more treacherous
the road became
the more of
Cheering you on in your goals, too! Tell me about them in the comments below, or email me. I'd love to be a person of encouragement to you as you kill it in 2018!