The Biggest Lessons I Learned in 2019 (Business + Personal)
Well we did it, friends! 2019 is officially coming to an end and I’m so ready. I love this time of year but truthfully, it also felt very weird. I did spend time with my loved ones over the holidays and a new year always brings fresh opportunities and motivation but it’s also been hard. Before I say farewell to 2019, I always like to spend some time reflecting back on my year. It’s important to review goals I had and to acknowledge things I have to be grateful for the past year. 2019 was a big year of growth both personally and in my business and I’m learning some hard lessons. I took some risks and while there were learning curves along the way, I’m so glad I’ve taken the jumps. I want to share with you the top lessons I learned this year, in both my business and personal life:
Photo by: Rachel Stetler Photography
Top Business Lessons I Learned:
Hone in on our ideal client and attract those you really want to work with.
This can take awhile, especially if your business is new. Now that I’m 5 years in, I immediately know if a potential client and I are a good match. I definitely used to take anything and everything for experience and fear work would run out. However, once I honed in on specific clients, they not only hired me but I genuinely LOVED working with them. I am refining my ideal client even more, because my time is worth money. I want clients to respect my work and not try to haggle with me to get a deal. Those ideal clients are out there and they know your worth and are willing to pay it. So stay true to who you want to work with and create with along the way.
Give all you’ve got to your clients and ask them to spread the word about your business.
When you’re passionate about your work, it shows! I used to be shy about asking clients to share their experience working with me but I found that word of mouth is the best marketing and referral. I also learned that you can’t be shy about asking them to spread the word because often times, they just forget to leave a review. So I always send my past clients reminders to share about my services. There is always someone getting engaged in their circle of friends and family and you just need to remind them about you so that you’re top of mind! Shout it from the rooftops about your business sister!
Know your numbers. Set budgets.
No one should know the numbers of your business better than you. Listen, I get it. I will be the first to admit, I’m not great at this and I’ve learned some hard lessons this year. Accounting and bookkeeping can be confusing but it’s essential you understand what your business is making and spending. I hired a bookkeeper, but even still, I keep a close eye on what goes in and out. It’s what’s allowed me to know that I can afford outsourcing in my business (more on that below). This is one of my goals to set strict budgets both in my business and personally next year to hit some goals I want to achieve. It’s scary but knowing your numbers and budgeting is a game changer.
Outsource work that you can’t do or don’t want to do.
I mentioned the growth of Feathered Arrow Events because I finally began outsourcing some tasks in my business. I hired a bookkeeper, someone to help write blog content, an editor for my podcast and an Associate Planner! These are all things that I needed help with because it wasn’t a strength of mine or I needed a professional. Also, some of these things will help grow the business, like hiring my associate, Jess, to take on weddings! Building my Feathered Arrow team has been a game changer for my business. It was a scary jump but once I did, it’s allowed me to focus more on my clients. I actually wrote a blog post on knowing when to outsource in your business if you want to read more.
Done Is better than perfect.
I’ve had a dream of starting my own podcast, and I did just that with The Local Table Podcast. Truthfully, I didn’t really have an idea of where to start but I knew I just had to try. So my advice is if you have a project or an idea, just do it. Put in the work and put it out there. It wasn’t always smooth sailing figuring out the equipment and details of recording a podcast but I researched, asked friends, and experimented until I figured things out. I’m so proud that I was able to get this project off the ground! It truly reminded me we can do anything we set our minds to.
Photo by: Kate Moran
Top Personal Lessons I Learned:
Self-care is important.
I’ve tried to prioritize self-care this year and I’ve failed and succeeded in some areas. And not just face masks and bubble baths (though those are great!). This year I started focusing on saying, “no” more, figuring out how to heal chronic back pain, and going to therapy regularly. These things have been so good for me and I plan to continue in 2020 to feel less stressed. One of those goals for 2020 is taking my morning slow and doing things for me. Things like working out, healthy breakfasts, and journaling daily. I’m currently reading the 5am Club, and I’m excited to see what those changes look like for the new year.
Say “yes” to only the things that you want to do.
And simultaneously, say “no” to more things. This was a huge lesson for me this year. I took time to build a focus on the things I wanted to accomplish, and if something came up that didn’t align with those priorities, I am learning to say, “no” without the fear or guilt of FOMO. This will be a work in progress but small steps are important to take!
Create space for you to be creative.
In conjunction with the above, I really wanted to spend time this year expanding on my creativity. I did some styled shoots that fed my creative soul and I’m leaning more into the photography side of my business. That really sets my soul on fire and I can’t wait to make that a more prominent side of my business. In 2020 I’m hoping to also take on some other fun hobbies that are not work related, like getting back into rock climbing and learning how to play the guitar.
Spend time with those you love.
The most important lesson anyone can take away is that life is too short, my friends. Make your friends and family a priority and take the time to tell them you love them. I’ve never been more of an advocate for this because it’s so important to me. We are not promised anything in this life, so go after your dreams, do things that scare you and take some risks to live a life that you truly love!
See a therapist.
This is slightly new to me but I’ve really embraced the practice of seeing a therapist. It’s so wonderful having someone you can talk to about your feelings, your life, your fears, your anxieties and your wins. You don’t have to have something “wrong” or “traumatic” in your life to see a therapist; taking care of your mental health is so important and should be considered self-care 101. I think every single person should go to therapy, it helps you look inside yourself and really get to know YOU as a whole person.
2019 Weddings In Review
And last but not least for fun, I wanted to highlight some special weddings that I’ve shared from the past year. I love all of my clients and I’m forever grateful to be a part of such a huge chapter in their lives!
Happy holidays and wishing you all a very happy New Year, friends! I want to give a special thanks to my clients, who all make my job the best in the world. See you in 2020!