A year end relfection...
Take time to reflect on the past year and all of the accomplishments that you have made.
If you didn't start the things you set out to accomplish at the beginning of 2021, you would never have achieved the success you did! Did you set goals and intentions for yourself last year?
When I look at the last few years, I am honestly in disbelief of what I have accomplished.
My 2019 Story
In 2019, I left the corporate world and started Utterly Uncluttered. I made a simple business plan, taught myself how to find clients, got insurance, learned that using QuickBooks was much better than using Excel to manage my books (the cost is well worth it), marketed myself on social media, regularly attended networking events, and navigated managing hundreds of work/personal tasks I had acquired. I heavily relied on family, friends, clients, friends-of-friends, and podcasts for support and help. I was even featured on the local news and radio several times, which was SO exciting, especially during my first year in business. I picked up a side job as a fitness instructor job at a local gym to make some extra money (maybe you came and worked out with me)! For a period of time I would wake up Thursday mornings at 4:30 am so I could shower and teach a 5:30am class then go to work for a full day organizing afterwards. It was a busy and humbling year filled with lots of change.
Trying and failing at new things is not easy. It can be downright discouraging; however, I was driven by knowing that I was helping others and making a positive change in their lives. Seeing the "before and after" progress of the work I did was so satisfying, and when clients express the weight they feel lifted off their shoulders - it makes all the hard work worth it.
My 2020 Story
In 2020, faced with the pandemic, I was forced to figure out how to pivot and just keep going. March was filled with many sleepless nights. Would my business run out of cash before I was able to go back to working in homes? I had worked so hard and I felt scared and unsure of what was going to come next. I started organizing virtually more often, which was a drastically different experience than working in homes. Though it was different, it was really amazing to see the progress my virtual clients were able to make with a plan and my guidance. During this time period, I also began hosting more online organizing workshops. I made time to understand how my business finances work, and our financial advisor recommended I read the book "Profit First" by Mike Michalowicz. I read it, and I would read it again. If you own your own business, I highly recommend you look it up and read it, too. I have never read a book that I felt impacted my financial knowledge and security as much as this one did, and it empowered me to feel in control of my business.
2020 threw us all NOTHING BUT CURVEBALLS. If I can take one big lesson away from 2020, it's that being in good health, both mentally and physically, is not something that should ever be taken for granted.
My 2021 Story
In 2021, my husband and I found out we would be having our first child in early 2022, and that our sweet pup Peaches would soon be a big sister to a baby boy! Through all of the excitement, panic ensued when I came to the realization that I couldn’t continue working at the same speed I had been for the past 2 years, all by myself.
This is the only picture that exists of the 3 of us, though my camera roll is filled with about 1,000 photos of just her, of course.
Anyways, I digress.
There simply aren't enough hours in the day to do it all, how was I going to get everything done?
There is a certain culture that is present in entrepreneurship/business ownership/whatever you want to call it that encourages you to hustle non-stop. That might work for some people, but if I wanted to run a successful business and also be a present partner to my husband and mother to my child, there was with 100% certainty no way I, personally, could continue going at the speed that I have been. I was already stretched thin. Most days, I work until I go to bed in order to simply get everything done, and because I work so late, I often have insomnia and give up on sleeping around 4am; so I will get up and keep working to "put my mind at ease." It's not sustainable.
I needed to figure out how to keep my business going, despite the inevitable physical, emotional and life-changes that were coming. After working through procrastination and accepting everything that I knew needed to be accomplished over the next year, I created trainings and processes, hired my first employees, navigated the pain-staking world of HR/Payroll, and continued wearing all the hats, but ultimately learned how to give up some control and ask other people for help. I now have 2 employees and am in the process of hiring more. It's the best decision I ever could have made for myself and my business, and I was SO scared to do it. I would likely have never accomplished all of these things without the motivation of “limited-time” ahead of me. My desire to be a present wife, mother, daughter, friend, and now boss, are my WHY for accomplishing my goals in 2021, 2022 and beyond.
I tell you all of this because I think many of us spend a lot of time and effort focusing on frilly goals that aren't really important in the grand scheme of our lives. Those goals often fail because the busyness of our lives takes over, and we don't have a true reason to stay motivated all year, after the initial thrill of "new years resolutions" wears off.
If you envision your life three, six, twelve months from today, where do you see yourself? Who is surrounding you? What are you doing? How will you get there? Write it down, work backwards, and then set your intentions & goals.
What is your “why” going into 2022?
Helping feed your urge to purge clutter from your life!
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