Before transitioning into a brand-new year, I like to take a moment to reflect on everything that’s happened in the 12 months prior (here’s what I wrote about 2017).
Since I tend the be the type that checks stuff off my to-do list and sets my sights on what’s next, not truly ever relishing in what’s just been accomplished, this end of year ritual lets me slow down and recognize all of the big and small ways I’ve grown, as well as how much has happened. While this might sound self-indulgent, it’s not. Especially for us ladies who very rarely give ourselves enough credit.
Life is a series of successes and failures—and too often the failures are the things we remember most. That AND we tend to discount the wins. So, this is your invitation. To take a look back at January through today, and take an honest inventory of what you learned, what you accomplished, and what you’re most proud of. It’s my favorite way to wave goodbye to 2018 and welcome in the new beginning that is 2019.
Here are the top 11 things—personally and professionally—I’ve earmarked as “best of 2018.”
(1) I launched a podcast and hosted over 50 interviews.
Exactly one year ago, I shared the Brand Yourself podcast with all of you. I had no idea what to expect and I sure as hell didn’t know if it would gain any traction—but I kept doing it because I LOVED it and so have you. I now have new friends, connections, and a growing tribe of listeners that tell me every day how this show has helped them. It brings me so much joy to know this show is making entrepreneurship a little less intimidating. Thanks to you, Brand Yourself has over 50,000 downloads and 70 reviews on iTunes. Let’s keep ’em coming!
(2) I supported 68 clients.
It’s always fun to look back at my client tracking sheet and see the names of everyone I had the honor of working with this year. From health coaches to spiritual teachers to fitness experts to best-selling authors, it’s pretty cool to know that I’ve helped them define what they do and find the words to express it clearly.
(3) I ran Your Wellness Brand 3x.
One of the absolute highlights of my year was leading clients through YWB, my business mentorship program. More than half of the 68—35 to be exact—completed this 10-week group experience and it’s been absolutely incredible to watch as they launch their websites, land clients, and confidently promote their work on social media. My biggest mission is to empower wellness entrepreneurs to root into who they really are and what impact they want to make in order to create 100% authentic businesses, and it’s so rewarding to witness them find “their thing” and share it consistently.
(4) I invested over $16,000 in my business.
I know, that’s a whole lotta money and I honestly didn’t plan on spending it. But as I moved from Q1 to Q2 it became clear that I needed a mentor.I’d been scrappy for over 4 years, never really investing in the wisdom of someone further along than me, figuring it out on my own. So, I did it. I invested in one program, the Business Accelerator by Libby Crow, back in May. And I invested in another for early 2019 (will share more later). Was I scared to fork over so much cash? OMG, yes. But ya know what? It was one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made. And here’s why…
(5) I increased my annual revenue by 74%.
Yes, you read that right—74%. By doing the work and making key shifts in my business model and marketing efforts, I was able to create more sustainable revenue streams. Now my new average monthly revenue is $20,000. My biggest lesson here? INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS when you feel drawn to a mentor. Chances are, you’re meant to work with them.
(6) I traveled to Italy and Spain.
Up until 2017, I hadn’t traveled abroad for almost 12 years. After I graduated from college, I was fortunate to backpack through Europe with a friend and before that, I lived in Australia for a semester. But once I stepped in the “real world” and got a job, I couldn’t afford to travel much. I spent years watching friends who made more money travel to Peru and Argentina and Italy. I wondered if I’d ever get to do the same. Then, in 2017, I got my wish with a trip to France and then to the South Pacific for our honeymoon.
But this year, was even more magical. Because I traveled abroad solo for the first time. I was invited by my friend and mentor to be the photographer on her annual Moon School retreat to Tuscany. It was a “hell yes,” and truly one of the most transformative experiences of my life. It taught me to first and foremost, chill the eff out. On the way there, I had a few challenging travel moments, and there were tears. But I got there in one piece. And it introduced me to hypnotherapy with the legendary Grace Smith.
In September, my husband Jamie and I took a celebratory trip to Spain—for our 1-year anniversary and 35th birthdays. We went to Mallorca and stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel that I would return to over and over again, ate lots of ham, cheese, and paella, hiked down a cliff to find a hidden beach, and swam for hours in the Mediterranean. I felt so lucky to be able to afford something like this when I had spent years not having the means.
(7) I experienced the magic of hypnotherapy.
Not only did Tuscany introduce me to amazing food and lots of delicious red wine, but it also introduced me to Grace Smith. Grace and her hypnotherapy practice are known as the #1 in the world. And I was fortunate to experience her magic during a few group hypnotherapy sessions. For those of you who feel weird about being hypnotized or think it’s a “head game,” I hope my story opens your mind because it’s one of the best tools on the planet for healing emotional wounds, getting over fear, and more.
During one session, Grace had us do a visualization exercise where we let go of the things that no longer served us—limiting beliefs, feelings of unworthiness, fear of change, and more—and then invited us to imagine ourselves being reborn from the shell of Venus (for reference, here’s The Birth of Venus). She has us imagine all of the old stuff falling away and being replaced with strength, resilience, love, and more. And as that shell started to open, we emerged into the world as our highest selves. Free from the past.
I know, it may sound silly. But I was in tears and connected to something deeper than I had been before. Afterward, I felt called to get up and walk outside. To follow a trail away from the monastery where we were staying. And as I walked, I was greeted by butterflies. They flew alongside me as I sobbed—for what, I’m not sure. But I let it out and followed the butterflies and walked for as long as felt right. Then made my way back down.
I felt different. More solid. More certain that I could do anything I wanted to. That I was meant for greatness—in whatever shape that took. What’s beautiful about my experience with hypnotherapy was that it did what it was designed to do—free me from my subconscious mind and all of the beliefs that have lived there for years. While they’re certainly not gone, I don’t feel limited by them as much as I did before. Definitely check out Grace’s work here.
(8) I celebrated one year of marriage and watched my little sister get married.
Choosing to spend the rest of our lives with someone is one of the biggest decisions we make. Because we’re signing up for a personal growth experience. One that will both comfort us and stretch us, both build our confidence and ruffle our feathers, both make us happy and make us angry, both inspire us and force us look at our shadows. It will shine a light on the ways we need to grow and the ways we’re already perfect as we are. What I’m most grateful for is being in a relationship that has allowed me to become more me and to be with a partner that cheers on my dreams, keeps things in perspective, loves adventure as much as me, and makes me laugh. Thank you for a great year, my love. And here’s to many, many more.
To make the month of September even more special, Jamie and I now pretty much share an anniversary with my sister and brother-in-law. Us on September 30th, them on September 28th. Watching my sister get married brought with it so many memories and emotions—especially when I sat down to write my speech for the big day. I’m so proud of who she’s become and the life she’s creating for herself. We’ve both found love in two really wonderful fellas, and the best part is, we all get along so well.
(9) I spoke at WELL Summit.
The weekend after my sister’s wedding, I spoke at another event: WELL Summit, an annual 2-day event that brings the best experts in wellness together under one roof. I submitted myself as a speaker for their Business of Wellness category back in March and was thrilled to receive the email that I’d been selected. My topic was Why Branding Yourself is the Only Way to Stand Out in the Wellness Industry and apparently it was a good one because they had to open up more space to fit people in the room (over 100 people).
(10) I hired my first team member.
As mentioned early, I’ve always been a DIY kind of girl. I grew a 6-figure business in under 4 years with very little support. This year, it became clear that approach wasn’t working for me anymore. I needed to find my business soul-mate, my partner in crime, my right-hand gal. So, I got crystal clear on what I needed—the exact kind of person, the responsibilities, the things I needed to let go of, so I could get more done. After interviewing 6 people, I knew I’d found “the one” in Sofia. Not only is she here in NYC and a fellow Wing Woman, but she’s an angel of a human. I don’t know what I would do without her and can’t wait for 2019.
(11) I recognized that I need to be better at nurturing relationships.
As you can see, I invested a lot of time, energy, and money into my business this year. So much so, that there wasn’t a lot left to give others. Business growth was so much the focus, that I didn’t nurture my friendships in the way I would have liked—and that’s not who I want to be. Success isn’t worth it when you don’t have people in your life to share it with. That’s why the past few months have been and all of 2019 will be devoted to creating more space for those that I love most, and for not aiming for perfection in my friendships but just consistently showing that I care.
So, there you have it—11 highlights from 2018. I’m so proud of what I’ve created, what I’ve learned, and who I’m becoming.
For me, 2019 will be defined by the word thoughtfulness. From my personal life to my professional one, I want to be thoughtful about everything that I say, do, and create. Not perfect, but always in practice.
Now tell me, what did you learn or accomplish in 2018? What does 2019 mean to you? Please share in the comments below.